Three Interesting Charts

2012 September 10
by SJ Leeds

I’m putting together a presentation that I’m giving next week.  While working on it, I came across three interesting charts.


First, here is the participation rate that you hear so much about.  While participation drops during every recession, this is a particularly large drop.  If the participation rate returned to 66% (which it had been above for most of the time from 1990 until the Great Recession), the unemployment rate would be approximately 11.5%.



Second, this chart shows the participation rate of adults (25+) who did not finish high school.  It is below 50% and the long-term uptrend has recently stopped.  Obviously, this is a problem.



If you look at the number of adults (age 25+) in the work force:

48.4MM have a college degree or higher (75.5% participation rate)

37.4MM have some college or an associate degree (68.3% participation rate)

36.7MM have a high school diploma with no college (59.9% participation rate)

11.2MM have less than a high school diploma (45.4% participation rate)


Realize what these numbers tell you.  These are the labor force rates and the participation.  So, the population includes 24.7MM people who are older than 25 and didn’t finish high school.  Only 11.2MM are in the labor force.


Finally, this last chart shows that we’ve lost five million manufacturing jobs in the last decade.  Many of these jobs provided a middle-income lifestyle.



Have a great week.

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