Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Growing (Older) Labor Force

Click to enlarge.


Source Data:
BLS: Labor Force Statistics: Table A-6


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark - the red line sure jumps around a lot - in 2011 it goes from 7% down to 3% and then back up to 7% - suspicious!

Stagflationary Mark said...


Perhaps our older workers opted for cruise ship vacations in the summer of 2011 on the assumption that the economy was improving substantially, then got home, looked at the interest they were earning on their CDs compared to rising food prices, and opted for exciting new careers in the Wal-Mart greeter industry!

Hey, just a mostly tongue-in-cheek theory. Mostly.

MaxedOutMama said...

Tragically, Walmart greeting jobs are being cut.

It's now fast-food. Blue hair, grease.

Stagflationary Mark said...


First they came...

"First they came…" is a famous statement attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

First they came for our farming jobs,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a farmer.

Then they came for our manufacturing jobs, and I didn't speak out because I was not a manufacturer.

Then they came for our retail sales jobs, and I didn't speak out because I was not a salesperson.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Don't get me wrong. I love technology. I just don't see how our economy will end up with everyone living the life of George Jetson (works 9 hours a week, has a robotic maid).

That said, I'm ordering something on Amazon.com today that was no doubt made in China. I'm boosting their sales figures instead of their more labor intensive brick and mortar competitors.

We're all prisoners now.

The prisoner's dilemma is a canonical example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interest to do so.

Stagflationary Mark said...

In the game, the sole worry of the prisoners seems to be increasing his own reward. The interesting symmetry of this problem is that the logical decision leads each to betray the other, even though their individual ‘prize’ would be greater if they cooperated.

Anonymous said...

Old school and gotta eat:


Stagflationary Mark said...


As if getting the tarp off wasn't enough of a problem, the snow fall was so rapid that seeing the yard lines was near impossible. It was up to the head ref to use his best judgment and keen observation skills to determine first downs, touchdowns and so on. Could you imagine such a decision being used today? Not likely.

What a game that must have been!

For what it is worth, I have always had a love of the snow. I got my wish this year. Can't say most of those around me were as excited about it though.