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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
Christian, Austrian economist, and libertarian theorist. Research Prof at Texas Tech and author of *Choice*. Paul Krugman's worst nightmare.

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