Romano: America Is Due For Another Recession

“SIX MILLION MISSING JOBS …” || By ROBERT ROMANO || Since 2005, labor participation in the U.S. – that is, those working or looking for work – has been steadily declining amid the financial crisis and its subsequent recession. As a result, the participation rate, on an unadjusted basis, has…


|| By ROBERT ROMANO || Since 2005, labor participation in the U.S. – that is, those working or looking for work – has been steadily declining amid the financial crisis and its subsequent recession.

As a result, the participation rate, on an unadjusted basis, has declined from an average annual 66 percent in 2005 to 62.7 percent so far in 2015, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That represents 8.38 million people who, if the participation rate had remained steady, would still be a part of the active workforce.

But that is slightly misleading.  A little more than half of those – some 4.38 million – are over the age of 65. They can be safely discounted since they represent our aging population as the Baby Boomers enter retirement.  The point there is that the labor participation rate should be dropping by some.

Yet, there are still about 4 million people in their prime working years – 16 to 64 years old – who might otherwise be a part of the labor force but, thanks to the recession, still are not.  They are neither working nor looking for work, because there is none to be found.

This is not a matter where people suddenly decided to stop looking for jobs, unless one wants to argue that everyone suddenly became lazy just as the economy crashed. Meaning, far from recovering, we are becoming, on a percentage basis, a nation where fewer people work. And it gets worse.

Consider that, as the Baby Boomers retire, their jobs are barely being replaced.

Since 2005, a net 7.59 million seniors have left the labor force. In the meantime, even though seniors are retiring en masse, many of them – thanks to greater life expectancy – are also working longer.  Approximately 3.3 million more seniors now are working than in 2005.

Yet, only a net of 3.4 million more people aged 16-64 have found jobs. As a result, the unadjusted percentage of the 16-64 population with jobs – a far better indicator of the state of the labor market – has dropped from 71.5 percent in 2005 to 68.5 percent in 2015 even as that population increased 13 million.

That represents some 6 million missing jobs …

(To continue reading this piece, press the “Read More …” icon below).

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.  This piece (reprinted with permission) originally appeared on


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Speak D Truth July 8, 2015 at 10:44 am

And given the amount of time that Obama has been in office it will be his failure to own, despite his efforts to blame it on Bush.
Carter will send Obama a note saying ” Thanks, I just became the 2nd worst President ever.”

sparklecity July 8, 2015 at 10:55 am

So what???????????
There have been and will continue to be recessions as long as there is western styled economy (which I am a HUGE fan of…)
One person’s recession is another person’s opportunity
Quit playing “chicken little” Mr. Ramono
Wonks like Mr. Romano with “Americans for Limited Government’ are always whining that the economy is in the tanks because of government intervention while the liberal wonks are yelling the world is about to burn up due to global warming
Both groups have their heads in their ass and are just yapping like so many lap dogs.
Ain’t a damn bit of difference between either bunch as far as I’m concerned

RogueElephant July 8, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Clue : when in doubt, Conservatives are never wrong, liberals are never right, moderates don’t know the difference. Good thought to access any argument.

tomstickler July 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm

“Conservatives are never wrong, liberals are never right” only in your imaginary universe.

Tom July 8, 2015 at 6:42 pm

Actually they all live in the Fake News echo chamber.

sparklecity July 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm

As a moderate I definitely know the difference between what it takes to make the world work and not trust musings of blow-hard smug self-righteous know-it all conservatives………………….

Rocky July 8, 2015 at 11:23 am

So let’s be clear. Trying at attach labor participation rates to economic growth is silly. We had lower participation rates in the 50s and 60s and 70s with no major recessions. So the entire premise is based on a faulty hypothesis. From an economic outlook right now we have fundamental strong signals; manufacture continues to grow, steady job growth, household debt is stable, we have low interest rates, and a rebounding housing market. We are hamstrung slightly by a sluggish European recovery, but Latin America and Asia are still doing well – so trading partners remain in good shape. There is no evidence of a coming drop in demand that would cause a recession. If anything, with the new recovering housing market we can expect demand to increase. But yeah, I guess a Hurricane will hit SC someday too. Could be 20 years, but I’m sure one is coming.

sparklecity July 8, 2015 at 2:11 pm

I heard that!!!!!!!
And lets not forget continuing automation as part of the equation………

Elfego July 8, 2015 at 12:16 pm

I personally think America is due for something much worse than a recession! I hope I am wrong!

RogueElephant July 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

The US has to run out of other people’s money some time. When that happens it will be much worse than a recession. And when it is all over our children and grandchildren will still have 18 trillion in debt to think about. From what I can see China’s bubble might be getting ready to burst. As long as everything keeps going OK but if anyone stumbles it will all come crashing down.

Ernesto July 8, 2015 at 1:29 pm

There will be less jobs in the future as the internal logic of capitalism continues its path towards a zero margin cost structure in particular growth sectors. Which acute crisis ( Chinese slow down , euro collapse) will lead to further erosions nobody can predict. However , capitalism is no longer capable of providing a large section of the pollution with jobs and a meaningful life perspective. Only a highly regulated market will be able to sustain a civil society. Other attempts will result in what Marx called ‘Asian capitalism’ ie an uncontrolled market in an oligarchic society.


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