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Is the Male Labor Force Half Working or Half Unemployed?

Summary:
(That’s an optimist vs. pessimist joke.) In the comments of this previous post, several of you were encouraging me to set aside issues about an aging population and women entering the work force, by looking at prime-age working males. OK I’m happy to do that: So, we can say that 7 years after bottoming out, the percentage of prime-age males who hold a job is just about where it was in at the depths of the awful recession in the early 1980s, which at the time was the worst economy since the Great Depression. And this somehow proves that I was grasping at straws, and Krugman is correct in saying we’re pretty much back at full employment?

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(That’s an optimist vs. pessimist joke.)

In the comments of this previous post, several of you were encouraging me to set aside issues about an aging population and women entering the work force, by looking at prime-age working males. OK I’m happy to do that:

So, we can say that 7 years after bottoming out, the percentage of prime-age males who hold a job is just about where it was in at the depths of the awful recession in the early 1980s, which at the time was the worst economy since the Great Depression.

And this somehow proves that I was grasping at straws, and Krugman is correct in saying we’re pretty much back at full employment?

Robert Murphy
Robert Patrick Murphy (born 23 May 1976) is an American economist, consultant and author. He is an economist with the Institute for Energy Research (IER) specializing in climate change and a research fellow with the Independent Institute, He was a senior fellow in business and economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute, and he is an associated scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. In addition to economic subjects, Murphy writes about, and has presented an online video class in, anarcho-capitalism on the Mises Institute website. Murphy also has written in support of Intelligent Design theory and expressed skepticism of biological evolution.

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