Michael, Amanda, Amandus discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

So if one week you only work thirty two hours, you are still considered a full-time worker if you usually work thirty five or more hours in Amandus case, she says she works about twenty six hours a week. So Amanda, you would count as part time. And now this brings us to question. Number three. It comes from Michael as you guys have discussed many times, the unemployment numbers do not tell the whole story in a prior sewed Heather Boucher said she would look at the employment rate. Instead. So I took a look, and it seems that the employment rate is significantly higher than it was in nineteen seventy nine and is about where it was pre two thousand eight so I have two questions on this one. Why was it? So low in the past does this mean that most households now need multiple income sources to is there really that much room for growth from here when it's near its peak seems like higher this number is the more desperate workers are for jobs. Thanks and keep up the good work. This is another great question. Thank you, Michael. So okay. Let us take a step back for a second the employment rate. This is simply the sheriff people in a certain group who have job and here, the indicator we like to look at the prime age implement rate that is the share of people between the ages of twenty five and fifty four who have a job. Now, these are people who you would mostly expect to be working because they're old enough to have graduated from college. But in general, they're not old enough. To have retired. And Michael ask about the year nineteen seventy nine so let's look at that year back then roughly seventy five percent of people in that age group that we just discussed twenty five to fifty four years old seventy five percent of those people back in nineteen seventy nine had a job right now. It's about eighty percent. So yes, it is definitely higher now than it was back then, but this is not really a fair comparison. It's not apples to apples because back in nineteen seventy nine. It was still very early in the trend of women entering the workforce in huge numbers, but that trend peaked roughly in the year two thousand so we think a better comparison is to compare the employment rate that year in two thousand with the employment rate now, and what that comparison shows us is that the employment rate for people between those ages of twenty five and fifty four with still higher back in two thousand than it is now in fact, if the employment rate were is high now as it was back, then another two and a half million. People would have jobs. So actually, there might still be a lot more people out there who would take job if they found one that suited them. Exactly. And also Michael asks if the rising employment rate means it workers are becoming desperate for a job. Actually, we think it's the exact opposite jobs are desperate. Exactly. The more workers that find jobs, the more desperate that companies are to hire new workers because there are just fewer jobless workers to choose from. And so companies then have to offer higher wages or other kinds of compensation to get those workers to lure them from the jobs that they have. And in fact, we've been seeing some of that trend recently. So that is that is all of our questions, please keep sending them in even if we can't respond to all of them. We do love seeing them. They're all Valentine's dust, even if they're not. That's the way we look at the cat's. Okay. I consider criticism jest of Valentine finding Tway. This episode of the indicator was produced by Constanza yard, oh and edited by paddy Hirsch, our fact, checker interns will Rueben and the indicator is a production of NPR..

Coming up next