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John Lounsbury, Managing Editor and Co-founder of Global Economic Intersection, provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to a small number of families on a fee only basis. He has a background which includes 34 years with a major international corporation, 25... More
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  • Return to the Single Worker Household? 6 comments
    Dec 10, 2009 8:06 PM

    Prof. J. Bradford DeLong (University of California, Berkeley) has an interesting graphic, shown below with modifications, on his personal Blog (here).

     

    A line has been added to indicate peak employment back in the days when most households had only one wage earner.  Starting in the 1970s dual earner households started to increase.  We have almost gotten back to the employment level that existed when only one family member worked and we were at full employment.

    Disclosure: No stocks mentioned.

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  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (9693) | Send Message
     
    John, this does not show how many are zero worker households. I suspect that might have something to do with the numbers.
    11 Dec 2009, 12:25 AM Reply Like
  • John Lounsbury
    , contributor
    Comments (4048) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You are absolutely right and I was remiss in not pointing that out.

     

    The current number, around 58%, could be comprised of a mixture of two earner, one earner and zero earner households. One example: Consider a population with 18% in single person household and 82% in two person households. (Note: This is an oversimplification because many households have more than two persons.) You could get the 58% if, for every 100 persons, 10 were employed in single person households (out of 18), 36 were working in households with two earners (18 out of 41 households), 12 were the only employed of two in the household and 11 lived in a two person household with no one employed.

     

    I understood this conceptually but not stating it in the post was definitely leaving the data open to misinterpretation.

     

    On Dec 11 12:25 AM doubleguns wrote:

     

    > John, this does not show how many are zero worker households. I suspect
    > that might have something to do with the numbers.
    11 Dec 2009, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (9693) | Send Message
     
    John I don't think 11 people can live in a 2 person house hold. It has to be an even number. LOL

     

    I just had to pick on that one. The clown in me wouldn't leave it alone. I realize that was on the back of the napkin computation and I almost certainly would have gotten it wrong myself trying to get the 58% just working the numbers. hahahah

     

    Thumbs up to you on this piece.

     

    I would hope that the number of zero worker households (shudder the thought) would be very low but I know 2 couples that both worked at the same company and both are now unemployed so I guess it's not uncommon.
    11 Dec 2009, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • John Lounsbury
    , contributor
    Comments (4048) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Doubleguns - - -

     

    Have you considered a split personality?

     

    On Dec 11 10:24 AM doubleguns wrote:

     

    > John I don't think 11 people can live in a 2 person house hold. It
    > has to be an even number. LOL
    >
    > I just had to pick on that one. The clown in me wouldn't leave it
    > alone. I realize that was on the back of the napkin computation and
    > I almost certainly would have gotten it wrong myself trying to get
    > the 58% just working the numbers. hahahah
    >
    > Thumbs up to you on this piece.
    >
    > I would hope that the number of zero worker households (shudder the
    > thought) would be very low but I know 2 couples that both worked
    > at the same company and both are now unemployed so I guess it's not
    > uncommon.
    11 Dec 2009, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • doubleguns
    , contributor
    Comments (9693) | Send Message
     
    I have 3, yep that would do it.

     

    I love humor.
    11 Dec 2009, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (13495) | Send Message
     
    Haha I think doubleguns is promoting a Chinese like social structure. The whole family from grandparents to kids can stay under one roof. Luxury is if your cousins don't move in too.

     

    As for the unemployment situation. Without extended unemployment benefits which help offset the terrible facts John's graphic points out, we would be in a lot deeper trouble. I suggest keeping TARP around only to help keep this program going. Who knows, it could last years.
    12 Dec 2009, 12:34 PM Reply Like
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