Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Rise and Fall of the Middle Manager

The following chart shows nonfarm payrolls minus production and non-supervisory employees.

Click to enlarge.

At first glance, this appears to be yet another trend failure. That is not the case though! There is a trend that nearly perfectly describes what is going on. I just need to alter the way the data is displayed so that you can see it better.

Click to enlarge.

When using a log scale, constant exponential growth is seen as a straight line. The line in the chart above is certainly not straight. It is curving downwards. As seen in the following chart, it is curving downwards in a very consistent way. In fact, it is the exact same way that a baseball in flight would be curved downwards after it is hit into the air, with gravity being the constant. I'm using a 2nd order polynomial to show the path.

Click to enlarge.

There are 42 million jobs here. I just don't see where the future growth will come from. These also tend to be the higher paying jobs that a person holding a college degree might have. Sigh.

The future's so bright I gotta... Oh, never mind. I give up.

“A pessimist is a man who has been compelled to live with an optimist.” – Elbert Hubbard

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Nonfarm Payolls Minus Production and Nonsupervisory Employees
St. Louis Fed: Nonfarm Payolls Minus Production and Nonsupervisory Employees (Natural Log)


fried said...

Unfortunately, I think you are right. Saw this at the vet's office today, from Time:,9171,2150607,00.html

Not my usual reading, but explored the ever-widening range of jobs that robots can do as well, if not better, than humans.
Bifurcated work force..the unskilled and now many of the skilled and educated competing with robots for work....Joins hands with a bifurcated economy, in that an ever smaller number of folks control most the wealth and consequently, much of the political power.
This is not a happy place to find ourselves.

Stagflationary Mark said...


The unemployment rate of those with college degrees is low. However, that does not necessarily mean that a college degree gets one a great job. All things being equal, even fast food restaurants would prefer to hire the most educated workers possible.

Put another way, the unskilled and the skilled are competing for unskilled work, and the skilled are "winning".