Saturday, November 30, 2013

Channeling the Teenagers of Christmas Past

In my last post, I presented the following chart that showed the fraction of the civilian noninstitutional population aged 16 to 19 who are employed.

Click to enlarge.

It is disturbing to me that we can't and quite possibly won't ever get back to the trend channel. I therefore propose a desperate solution. If the teenagers can't come to the mountain, then let's bring the mountain to the teenagers! All we need to do is come up with an alternate trend channel. Right?

Click to enlarge.

Still not back to the trend channel? What a bummer! Have no fear though. We are guaranteed to get back to this one at some point. Just need to be patient. At the very least, the percentage of those aged 16 to 19 with a job will hit the hard floor of 0% and fall no further (which is in sharp contrast to the long-term trend itself). Call me a mathematical optimist!

As a side note, do all teenagers now live in Detroit? Seriously. Other than potentially obvious long-term structural employment issues, what's up with that long-term parabolic trend failure? Sigh.

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Custom Chart


Anonymous said...

It would seem that some structural, perhaps permanent, changes have occurred in either the economy or the culture. For the teenagers, the channel was broken during this latest recession. But, something else is happening for post-recession employment for the general population. Looking at CR's chart for per cent job losses in post WWII recessions, it's clear that since 1981, each "employment recession" is lasting longer: about 27, 31, 46, and maybe 77 months. So the next recession starting next year (?) is going to have an employment dip of maybe 11 or more years? Could be grim.

Stagflationary Mark said...


It is even within the realm of possibility that we don't make it back to the 2007 employment peak before the next recession hits. What would CR post then?

The employment household survey makes one heck of an ugly chart. The optimists tend to sweep it under the rug on the hopes it goes away. Maybe it does but maybe it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that is an ugly chart and implies that CR's chart should start to level out pretty soon. Actually, I don't see why it hasn't started to level out already.

How about some optimistic charts - like debt service ratio for households - that's looking boosterish. More room to borrow!

Stagflationary Mark said...

Optimistic charts? Sure!

Trickle Down Potato Prosperity

The Fed will not tolerate extended deflation. That means...

If real apparel prices fall as we move our textile jobs overseas, then the real price of something else must rise to take its place.

Woohoo! :)

Hey, I tried. It's a tough sell. Isn't it?