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There are also metrics like full-time weekly earnings which make it look like incomes are improving, but they don't account for people increasingly working part-time.

I don't know about the US but in Australia we tend to have more people move onto social security when the employment market is tough. It makes sense that if someone is in their sixties and has had a heart attack that if they can find a suitable job they will take it, but if not will attempt to qualify as being unsuitable for work.


Great post. Better media sources on the economy, like the WSJ, typically do report U6 as well as explain it. Also very useful to look at long-term unemployed, both the number as well as the rate. Thinking in terms of the number of actual people that have been stuck without a job for 6 months is pretty sobering.


PGI: Usually yes but WSJ's coverage on April 30th was the same as that of NYT in this case. Here is their version of the article. No mention of U6 or employment-population ratio.

Ken: Yes, there are many more statistics to look at. The ones I pointed out requires practically no manipulation on FRED. Maybe I will do a post on weekly wages too! Also, I don't think we have cohort data; what proportion of people are getting better/worse jobs when they get re-employed?


Yeah, they did better with their coverage on April 3rd. Funny, it's even the same author.

I'm guessing the difference is on what new data has been released that they are reporting on. The BLS releases the full employment situation report with U3 and U6 near the beginning of the month.


NYT did have somewhat better coverage on April 4th, but not nearly as good as WSJ. It did not report U6 like WSJ did, but it did report the labor participation rate, as well as "Working part time, but want full-time work" and "People who currently want a job," albeit in a chart and not in the article. It also more heavily emphasizes U3 in both the words and graphics.


Still not good enough….
Ideally, we need a graph that indicates what % of the population is in a job they are educated, qualified, and experienced to be in. The 'objectively satisfied employed'. What are those census people doing out there every time?


The labor market is very sticky.

Workers are really slow in getting the hints from economists and employers.

But finally, they are doing as economists and employers have been calling for them to do, shrink the supply of labor.

After all, when the offered prices decline, supply offered should decline.

Thus with stagnant or falling prices offered for labor, workers should stop being workers and people should find other alternatives to becoming workers.


mulp: "workers should stop being workers and people should find other alternatives to becoming workers."

Such as what? If you are wealthy, you have other options, such as starting a small business or just increasing the amount of leisure you enjoy, but most workers are not in that position.

The labor market is very different from the markets of goods and services. A typical business has far more resources available to it and thus has more options to respond to a price decrease than a typical worker.

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