5 Graphs For 2016: #2, Discouraged Workers

by: Hale Stewart

By New Deal democrat

This is the 4th installment of 5 graphs to watch in 2016. So far I have covered:

#5. The yield curve
#4. The trade weighted US$
#3. The inventory to sales ratio

Number 2 is a carryover from last year. While 2015 saw a big improvement in involuntary part-time employment, which hopefully will continue, the number of those so discouraged that they did not even look for work, even though they want a job, went stubbornly sideways until the last quarter of 2015. It is still elevated well above its rate in the later part of the 1990s through 2007:

If the economic expansion continues, this number should improve, as more and more of these discouraged workers re-enter the labor force and actively look for, and hopefully find, work. I would like to see at least 3 months of numbers below 5.2 million before concluding that this number is no longer "poor."