Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nonfarm Payrolls vs. Population


Click to enlarge.

Ooh, swish!



Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: All Employees: Total nonfarm
St. Louis Fed: Population

9 comments:

mab said...

Stag,

I don't see anything wrong with a smaller workforce (as a percentage) that works fewer hours. That's the proper trend imo.

The trend in CONsumption debt is the problem.

Free time is the most under-valued and under-appreciated commodity.

Stagflationary Mark said...

mab,

I don't see anything wrong with a smaller workforce (as a percentage) that works fewer hours. That's the proper trend imo.

Meet George Jetson!

Too bad our economy isn't set up for that. Fewer hours in this modern society means less pay. Sigh.

Free time is the most under-valued and under-appreciated commodity.

My #1 goal in life was to maximize the most under-valued and under-appreciated commodity. I think it came from having summers off in school.

I was a lazy person with ambitious goals, lol. ;)

Jazzbumpa said...

As a retired guy, I can vouch for the value of free time. OTOH, for those not on a pension and SS, work is necessary to provide livelihood.

But there is much more to it than that. Work provides purpose, dignity, fulfillment and accomplishment, association and community, and the opportunity to be a part of something larger than the self.

All of these things have quality of life value that cannot be measured in money.

Besides, the old saw about idle hands has some basis in reality. people also need direction and focus.

Mab has the proper trend wrong. It should not be to a smaller workforce, but to a workforce with an optimized balance of work and free time activities.

Cheers!
JzB the busy retiree

Stagflationary Mark said...

JazzBumpa,

Work provides purpose, dignity, fulfillment and accomplishment, association and community, and the opportunity to be a part of something larger than the self.

In theory, it might.

In practice, you should ask my girlfriend about how dignified the work force is if you have a disability. Oh the stories she could tell.

In practice, there was no dignity for me when I watched my former company exposed for fraud on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for cooking the books. There was no dignity when it was announced to us by an upper management professional wearing dark sunglasses in a dimly lit conference room that our stock options would be repriced. There was no dignity in watching round after round of layoffs occur in the aftermath.

Stagflationary Mark said...

As for work providing purpose, it is pretty clear what the purpose is: profits and at any cost.

That's the American work dream. I'll pass.

getyourselfconnected said...

"As for work providing purpose, it is pretty clear what the purpose is: profits and at any cost.

That's the American work dream. I'll pass."
Could not agree more.
Reminds me of a story:
http://infinity.usanethosting.com/forum/messages/308.html

Always liked that one. I sent you email today as well.

mab said...

Mab has the proper trend wrong. It should not be to a smaller workforce, but to a workforce with an optimized balance of work and free time activities.

Jazzbumpa,

Is it optimal when the Government sanctions systemic credit fraud and allows bonus seeking bankers to charge people twice as much to own a house and three times as much for a college education.

Americans could have had all the neat gadgets and fancy tech stuff that enriches our lives without all the senseless debt. The point I was making was that people were duped into trading free time for debt - an incredibly bad trade!

Stagflationary Mark said...

GYSC,

I love that story!

As one who once found much joy sitting on a dock with a fishing line in the water, that story really hits home with me.

Stagflationary Mark said...

mab,

The point I was making was that people were duped into trading free time for debt - an incredibly bad trade!

One might even call it a "poor" trade. Pun intended. Sigh.

March 02, 2011
Why Did Warren Buffett Invest In AXP If He Dislikes Credit Cards?

This morning, Buffett spoke to CNBC about the issue.

I tell students they'd be better off if they never used them, he said. I can't make money if I'm out borrowing at whatever the rate may be, 12%, 14%, 16%. If I'm gonna go broke if I borrow at credit card rates, I'm in trouble.