Employment data much worse than reported.
News is reporting that the job cuts in April were not as bad as expected, only 20,000 jobs lost compared to the 80,000 feared. But, there have been 321,000 jobs lost since the beginning of the year.
This is population pyramids for the US, and incase the link doesn't work I am copying them into a docstoc page. I find using docstoc when you have a few graphics way easier. So, the docstoc has graphs of population pyraminds from 1950, projected to 2020, by 5 years. You can go to the link and look at the inbetween years or you can set it up to have a look at a dynamic population pyramid, where it is changing. With all the years the document was 24 pages The changing demographics are enormously important to include in analysis of where the economy is heading.
Population Pyramids US - 1950 -2020 by 5 years - Get more documents
Employment data is so dramatically changing in terms of what it is measuring relative to population and social programs, it is insane the weight that is put on it in the news. I consistently find main stream media so lacking and shallow in its reporting and constantly demonstrating far too shallow understand of an issue to be asking the right questions.
I've been working on getting population data to report actual numbers and I am shocked by what I found, absolutely shocked. We have an aging population right? That means the percent of people 65+ should be increasing, right?
I was only able to get population data back to 1996, but this is what I found for percent of population 65 and older:
1996 - 12.65%
1997 - 12.59%
1998 - 12.53%
1999 - 12.45%
2000 - 12.42%
2001 - 12.39%
2002 - 12.36%
2003 - 12.36%
2004 - 12.37%
2005 - 12.41%
2006 - 12.45%
2007 - 12.57%
2008 - 12.73%
Until this year the percent of people 65 and older has been less than in 1996. I find this utterly shocking. Our health care budget has increased out of control as a percent of the budget and I thought it was because the percent of the population over 65 was increasing.
Well, that kills part of an argument I was going to use here...
But, simple extrapolation here, the increase percent of population retirement age from 2007 to 2008 is 0.16% or almost a half million people. It is actually about 40,500 jobs/month that can disappear through attrition of the aging population and they don't show up in the job loss data. The population increase from 2007 to 2008 is about 2.7 million or about 224,000 per month. About 60% are working age, so about 134,000 jobs/month are needed just to keep up.
Something else to notice here, look at the jump in retired aged people from 2007 to 2008. That kind of jump hides job losse. Right now it is hiding 40,500 per month, but it looks like that number is increasing. This number is a double whammy because the stress on the social system is far more expensive from a retired person than an unemployed person. Consider the average life expectancy of about 84, it might be consider a 20-fold whammy, and included medical, a 100-fold whammy. An unemployed person can collect benefits for what, six months? The average senior is collecting benefits for almost 20 years now.