Connect with us


Report: “Dramatic Shortfalls” In US Labor Force




We have no idea as to the ideological leanings of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council).  Nor do we know who funds the organization.

Somehow we ended up on their media list …

Whatever the group’s bent, it is dead-on when it concludes in a new report that there are “dramatic shortfalls in the U.S. labor force and in job creation.”

How “dramatic?”

“If the U.S. had a reasonable level of employment relative to population, such as the level existing before this last recession, there would have been 8.1 million more people employed in September 2016 than actually were working,” SBE Council’s lead economist Raymond J. Keating noted.

That’s right: More than eight million jobs that should exist don’t – because America’s labor force has shrunk.

Remember that the next time a politician brags about “low unemployment rates.”

“The reality is that over the past near-decade, including the current period of recovery/ expansion, there have been vast shortfalls in labor force participation and the level of employment,” Keating added. “Job growth has been grossly inadequate, and the numbers clearly show a dramatic exodus of workers from the labor force and a drastic shortfall, or gap, in terms of employment. This labor force shortfall is not about an aging population; rather, the decline in the labor force is due to lower participation by those under the age of 55.”

Specifically, Keating’s research found the American labor force is down by 13.1 million compared to where it should have been “at reasonable participation rates for ages 16 to 54.”  Conversely, labor participation rates for those 55 years and over were actually higher in 2015 than they were in 2007, debunking the notion that the American labor force is shrinking because older workers are retiring.

Keating says the weak labor participation data is “deeply troubling.” And while he says there are an “assortment of factors” to blame, the root cause is a “lack of economic opportunity.”

“That is, in a hostile policy climate, entrepreneurship and private investment, the engines of economic and employment growth, are being discouraged due to increased costs and uncertainties,” he said.

Obviously this website follows the monthly government employment reports coming out of Washington, D.C. very closely – with an especially keen eye on the labor participation data.  We track this data at the state level, too.

We also closely follow broader economic growth readings (including state readings) – as well as consumer comfort data.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: The numbers aren’t good.

Nor are they likely to get better until “Republicans” and Democrats put an end to unrestrained deficit spendingcrony capitalist trade deals, the perpetual incentivizing of dependency, wide open borders, incessant global warmongeringsocialized medicine and ill-conceived money-printing.

(Banner image via iStock)