The Devastation Of America's Working Class

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/12/2014 15:45 -0500

After years of exposing, month after month, the truth about the US labor market - its conversion into a part-time (in 2010!), low-paying job market where Millennials refuse to work (as the job market reality is gruesome so instead they opt to load up on record amount of student loans) and where older Americans, instead of enjoying retirement are forced right back into the labor force leading to record numbers of workers over the age of 55 (thanks to ZIRP crushing the value of their savings and a refusing to participate in an HFT- and central-bank rigged stock market), the mainstream media, having grown tired of spinning the bullshit optimistic propaganda, has finally moved to the "tinfoil" side, and has done something it normally wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Tell the truth.
Enter the NYT with a shocking dose of truthfulness, one which goes to show just one thing: how over the past decade, notwithstanding the tripling of the S&P from its post-Lehman lows on the back of $11 trillion in central bank liquidity, America's working class has been not only skewed beyond recognition, but is now absolutely devastated. And all thanks to the Federal Reserve skewing the value of money so much that those who should be working aren't, and those who should be retiring, are serving you Starbucks.
Here are the facts, long overdue but facts nonetheless, from the NYT:

  • At every age, the chances of not working have changed in the last 15 years.
    • Teenagers are far more likely not to work.
    • Older people are retiring later and working more.

  • In the late 1960s, almost all men between the ages of 25 and 54 went to work. Only about 5 out of every 100 did not have a job in any given week. By 2000, this figure had more than doubled, to 11 out of every 100 men. This year, it’s 16.
  • About 13 percent of the increase in prime-age nonworkers, including a substantial fraction of the younger ones, comes among people who say they are in school.
  • Much of the school-related rise in nonwork, at least since 2007, appears to be less about staying in school than it is about not being able to find part-time jobs (don't tell that to the trillion+ in student loans though).
  • Some men in school say they would like to be working part time but they’ve given up looking for a job. Others may stop going to school entirely if they could find a job, or if the college wage premium were smaller.
  • About 20 percent of the new nonworkers say they are disabled, a category whose numbers have risen particularly for workers above age 50.

And the really important part, the one that goes to the entire debate about the collapsing labor force. Bottom line: it's not because baby boomers are retiring (as we have shown time after time). In fact, quite the opposite:

  • Among prime-age workers, early retirement has increased slightly since 2000. Far more drastic changes have occured among workers 55 and older, who have been doing the opposite and putting off retirement.

Of course, this being the liberal NYT, spin was once again unavoidable:

  • The decline of traditional pension plans and rising education levels, which are associated with less physically demanding jobs, may both help explain why the elderly are working longer.

A token pretty chart that shows everything said above:

That's the NYT's version. Here is our far simpler chart that says all that and more.

And here, with a 2 year delay, is the NYT admitting what we said back in 2012 in "55 And Under? NoJob For You"
Some countries have developed policies that encourage older people to leave the labor force, so they do not “crowd out” younger workers. But studies across countries and time suggest that crowding-out may not actually be a problem. Economies do not appear to have a fixed number of jobs. When more older people are working, they are earning money that they will then spend in ways that may create more jobs for young people, for example. Even if this is the case, though, the rise of elderly employment in recent years has not provided enough of a lift to put more young people back to work.

And so on.
We won't waste your time on the rest (you can read it here The Vanishing Male Worker: How America Fell Behind) for the simple reason that once again, we said all of the above and much more years in advance. That said we commend the mainstream media, especially those who are ideologically alligned with the current administration, for finally daring to tell the truth.