Monday, September 06, 2004

Tim Worstall notes that the current unemployment rate - 5.4% - would have been considered pretty good from 1980-1995, and speculates that structural changes in the US economy are the main cause of the change in perception.

The problem with looking at a single statistic like the unemployment rate is that it doesn't tell the whole story; one of the main problems today is the millions of discouraged workers who are no longer looking for jobs. A quick glance at the labor force participation rate (see chart above) reveals that the job situation is not the worst since '95, its the worst since '89.


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