Startling Look at Employment Demographics by Age Group: Spotlight on Age 25-54

January 7th, 2013

by Mike Shedlock

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Last month I posted a chart showing employment by age group. Here is an update as of Friday's job release.

Employment Demographics by Age Group

Note that 100% of the job growth since the recession is in age group 55 and over.

Last month, someone proposed the above chart was blatantly misleading because it does not reflect the aging workforce.

Let's investigate that hypothesis with a look at actual data (numbers in tables and charts in thousands).

Civilian Institutional Population (CP) and Labor Force (LF)

Age Group 25-54 Key Facts
  • In 2007 the civilian population was 125,652,000
  • In 2007 the labor force was 104,353,000
  • In 2012 the civilian population was 124,314,000
  • In 2012 the labor force was 101,253,000

Numbers are non-adjusted from BLS tables.

Simply put, the decrease in civilian population in age group 25-54 was 1,340,000. The decrease in the labor force was a staggering 3,100,000!

Let's explore this idea in still more detail looking at employment, unemployment, and non-employment.

Spotlight on Age Group 25-54

  1. Unemployment is the difference between employment and the labor force.
  2. Not-employed is the difference between employment and the civilian population.
  3. Numbers are non-adjusted from BLS tables.
  4. There may be rounding errors.

More Key Facts For Age Group 25-54

  • Between 2007 and 2012 the civilian population declined by 1,340,000
  • Between 2007 and 2012 the labor force declined by 3,100,000
  • Between 2007 and 2012 employment fell from 100,450,000 to 94,150,000.
  • Between 2007 and 2012 employment declined by 6,300,000 jobs on a mere decrease in the civilian population of 1,340,000!

Let's take a look at the above table in chart form.

Civilian Population, Labor Force, Employed, Not-Employed

Irrefutable Evidence Falling Employment Not Based on Boomer Demographics

This plunge in employment in the prime working age group of 25-54 is irrefutable proof that the drop in employment and the falling participation rate is not based on aging boomer demographics.

By calculation, 4,960,000 jobs (6,300,000 - 1,340,000) simply vanished into thin air (in age group 25-54 alone).

Thus, the plunge in employment in the prime working age group of 25-54 also provides strong evidence the stated unemployment rate of 7.8% is bogus by a more sensible measure of unemployment.

Better Measure of Unemployment

I propose this simple definition: If you want a job, are physically able to work a job, and you don't have a job, then you are unemployed.

Actual measures are purposely defined to hide the true state of the economy.

For a close scrutiny of the latest jobs report, please see Establishment Survey +155,000 Jobs; Household Survey +28,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate Revised Up, Flat Since September.

Originally posted at Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

© Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Investment Advisor Representative

Website by the Boston Web Company