Friday, September 2, 2011

39.0 Million Missing Payroll Jobs

The following chart compares the payroll employment we currently have to the long-term payroll employment trend from 1939 to 2000.

The following chart shows the distance we are from the long-term trend line.

Although zero payroll jobs were added in August I am sarcastically optimistic that we'll still be back to that trend line in no time. Can't you just feel the prosperity accelerating?

On the other hand, I might just be experiencing a Luskin moment.

“The Luskin moment” is the month that Don Luskin argued that the US was on the verge of “accelerating prosperity”.

Source Data:
BLS: Employment


Troy said...

The bulge of the 2000s was caused by:

Government's borrowing $1.3T/yr still?

At $100,000 per job that's thirteen million jobs dependent on government debt.

And at $100,000 per job there would have to be 3 $33,000 jobs indirectly dependent on that money coming from Uncle Sugar.

That another 40 million jobs, for 50 million jobs in total being floated via the deficit spending.

I really really don't understand our economy. Where is the money really going???

MaxedOutMama said...

The thing needs the Psycho soundtrack. And warnings before people's eyeballs are assaulted.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Where is the money really going???

I'm open to suggestions. The zombie bank wormhole?

Stagflationary Mark said...


You will have to settle for talking heads and ukuleles, because that's the best this crazy economy can muster.

Psycho Killer - The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Mr Slippery said...

Obama is going to make a fool of himself next week talking about all the jobs that have been created this year and how we are on the right track. Someone may yell "YOU LIE" at him again.

Or he may just blame Bush, like his successor will blame him. Great system we have here. Opened some speculative positions today like Bernanke wants me to because my savings can't earn any interest.


Troy said...

The only person immune from blame is Perot.

"Giant sucking sound" indeed.

Troy said...

Blue line is employment / civil pop

Red line is total debt / GDP


Stagflationary Mark said...


Your chart was too scary.

I fixed it for you. See! All better!

Now if we could just think up a way to permanently stay between 1992 and 2000.

I'm thinking mobius strip technology.

Troy said...

What *was* the deal with the 1990s.

Cheap oil had something to do with growth I guess.

The 486, Pentium, Windows 3 and 95, and the Mac Plus & II series to a lesser extent.

My general impression is that trade with China was something new and good, in that it allowed us to reduce the cost of living with these cheap imports.

Plus something about the baby boom being aged in their 30s and 40s at 1995 was a net plus I guess.

The Republicans predicted the 1993 tax rises would bring doom, but they were rather wrong about that.

I was safely in Japan by then, well under the $70,000 exclusion, LOL

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

There's been plenty of job creation!

I'm reminded of 2009 when Itron planned their hiring spree.

Itron was on CNBC today. Although their production is fully automated (the robotic arms are amazing), the company said they will be hiring 100 employees to help meet the demand of their products. You heard me right. 100 employees will be hired.

Get me up to the podium! I'll even supply a few charts! ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...


1995 was the peak for me. My software gaming company was doing great. By 1999 the wheels fell off the wagon as the horses rode off into the sunset though, lol.

I think the problem with China trade was that it really was a free lunch. We shipped them dollars and jobs in exponentially increasing amounts.

It started off as a trickle of apparent goodness. It is now a gusher and a billion Chinese would prefer to burn oil instead of us.

As you say, Perot tried to warn us.

Troy said...

As did Upton Sinclair in 1933:

"There is no greater economic delusion in the world than that of the benefit in the process of shipping goods all over the earth. It is sheer waste, justified only in cases where the country has not the raw materials to make that particular product. Why, for example, should we buy from Japanese bulbers? We have all the material and the skilled labor to make our own. But the Japanese undersell us you say! How? For one reason and one only, because the Japanese workers have a lower standard of life than ours, will work longer hours and eat less food. So it appears that the purpose of international trade is to bring the advanced people down to the coolie standard."

Stagflationary Mark said...


Great quote!

I offer an analogy that I have used before.

If you add a cup of wine to a barrel of garbage then you end up with a barrel of garbage.
If you add a cup of garbage to a barrel of wine then you also end up with a barrel of garbage.

Behold the power of garbage.

We should think about that every time we attempt to dilute our wine (our jobs).

Jimmy J. said...

The 1990s prosperity was the result of the end of the Cold War and the rise of the tech bubble and globalization. Unfortunately, we didn't let things stabilize after the tech bubble burst because of the 9/11 attacks. Easy money and low interest rates fueled the real estate bubble.

I retired in 1993 with a livable pension and a small IRA. The tech and real estate bubbles grew my IRA beyond my wildest dreams. Lucky timing helped as I didn't give it all back in the 2000 tech bust. Seeing opportunities in real estate in the Pacific Northwest during the 1993 to 2008 period helped also.

Now the game is preservation and looking for the short term trends to make a few bucks trading. I have lived through WWII, Korea, Vietnam, 9/11, and several recessions. Instead of a quiet retirement life in my dotage, things are still very interesting.
Who'd a thunk it?

Stagflationary Mark said...

Jimmy J.,

Now the game is preservation...

That's certainly my thinking.