2014 March 13 Thursday
CIS: Still No Evidence of a Labor Shortage

From the Center for Immigration Studies:

  • In the fourth quarter of 2013, the standard unemployment rate (referred to as U-3) for native-born adults who have not completed high school was 16.6 percent, while for those with only a high school education it was 8.5. The U-3 unemployed are people who have looked for a job in the last four weeks.

  • The broader U-6 measure of unemployment which includes those want to work, but have not looked recently, and those forced to work part-time was 28.7 percent for native-born adults who have not completed high school and 16.5 percent for those with only a high school education.

  • The total number of native-born, working-age adults (18 to 65) of any education level not working (unemployed or out the labor force) was 50.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 8.8 million more than in the fourth quarter of 2007, and 14.7 million more than in the same quarter of 2000.

  • The share of working-age (18 to 65) natives holding a job has not recovered from the Great Recession. In the fourth quarter of 2013, 31 percent were not working, something that has barely improved in the last five years.

  • In the fourth quarter of 2013, there were only two working-age natives holding a job for every one that was not employed. This represents a huge deterioration. As recently as 2000, there were three working-age adults holding a job for every one not working.

The numbers are especially bleak for those who haven't graduated from high school. In the year 2000 52.2% were employed. Now only 38.4% are employed. The era of the zero marginal productivity worker is already upon us. For blacks without a high school degree the decline was from 42.1% working to 31.3% working. This is very bad news. What do they do with their time? How do they survive?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 March 13 09:45 PM 


Comments
outsider said at March 14, 2014 2:10 AM:

I can't imagine anyone having a problem filling their time, but to do so in a way that is useful to others may be the hardest job in the world for some. I sure hope Congress gets around to passing a guaranteed minimum income before the rent is due.

bob sykes said at March 14, 2014 5:55 AM:

We already have a guaranteed minimum income. Someone has estimated that the total value of welfare benefits to a family is around $40,000 per year. They get free medical care, free legal services, subsidized housing, food stamps, free cell phones, etc.

With the mechanization of agriculture and the automation of manufacturing, a significant fraction of the population has no possible labor utility.

Detroit said at March 15, 2014 8:06 AM:

"What do they do with their time? How do they survive?"

You don't know?

Randall Parker said at March 15, 2014 10:37 AM:

bob sykes,

A source for welfare recipients getting $40,000 per year.

Detroit,

The reason I ask the question: How long can a criminal support himself with a life of crime before being caught? Can some of them support themselves off of crime for several years? Or are they living off of welfare and/or girlfriends who work? I'd like to know what percentage of high school drop-outs who do not work live off of crime, welfare, girl friends. Also, for those living off of crime what sorts of crime? Drug dealing the most lucrative?

It strikes that if drugs are decriminalized that some of the current drug dealers will shift to property crime.


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