It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Intractability of the US Unemployment Problem

If the problem is construed as getting back to employment levels of the past, it's probably not solvable by any means in the short run.

Some more graphics to make the point:

GDP and GDP growth:


Correlation of oil prices and recessions:




US employment impacts of various recessions:



Total US employment (http://delong.typepad.com/):



Now consider the relatively healthy 2005-2007 economy as representative of baseline employment growth rate.

Upshot: this number is not going anywhere anytime soon, no matter who or what you choose to blame.

1 comment:

Pangolin said...

If only there were some way to decouple employment from petroleum use........