What’s Wrong – or Right – with This Picture?

Today I stumbled across UC Berkeley economist Brad DeLong’s blog, which had this chart in the header, but too small to read. So I clicked to see a larger version – the version you see here. It came from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It shows the ratio of civilian (not military) employment to the population as a whole. It’s possibly of the adult population, I can’t tell; but no matter.

The main point is this: it’s the percentage of the population that is employed, from 2005 till now.

I think we can all figure out why Professor DeLong put that red circle where he did. We all felt it. We’re all living it. Employment tanked in 2009 – and stayed tanked. It’s stuck at the bottom, like we are.

Chart: Employment-to-Population Ratio

Civilian Employment-Population Ratio, from the Federal Reserve of St. Louis


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