The Dichotomy of the Disappeared Worker

According to President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, there are 10 million men missing from the workforce.  The report shows that 83% of men aged 25-54 who are not currently employed were also not working last year either.  Statistics like this make it easier to understand why the Fed keeps interest rates so low when the Unemployment Rate is only 5% and Jobless Claims have been running under 300,000 for a year and a half now (the longest run in almost 50 years).

There are 576,000 Discouraged Workers in the U.S. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. There are another 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force.  Those are folks who want a job, are available for work, and have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.  That leaves about nine million dudes who are either independently wealthy and don’t need the money, or they are hobos and have fallen off the grid.

Either way, the numbers are perplexing and make it increasingly difficult to predict the future of our economy and the direction of interest rates.