Friday, November 07, 2014

Some Good News: Productivity Up, Percent Of Population Employed Up

See US Productivity Suggests Economy Can Grow 'Without The Threat Of Inflation' and Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and over, 1979 to date.

The productivity report said "Productivity, or the U.S. economy’s output per hour of work, increased at a 2.0 percent annual rate during the third quarter as output increased 4.4 percent and hours worked increased 2.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday. "

Higher productivity means an increase in supply. When supply shifts to the right, prices fall (or at least it will help keep down price increases caused by demand increasing).

The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in October from 5.9% in September. But the percent of the population employed jumped from 59.0% to 59.2%. That is important because the unemployment rate can fall if people drop out of the labor force. The labor force participation rate went from 62.7% to 62.8%.

The percent of the population employed was 63.0% in 2007 (the recession started in December 2009). So we are still well below that, although about half the difference is from retired people dropping out of the labor force.

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