Employment Is Pretty Close to Reaching Its Peak

This is apropos of nothing in particular. I’m just futzing around with economic figures to see if anything looks interesting. Here’s the employment rate for prime-age (25-54) men and women in the United States:

The employment-population reached its peak in early 2000. It dipped during the 2001 recession and plummeted during the 2009 recession, but has been steadily improving ever since 2012. It’s now at about 97 percent of its level at the peak of the dotcom boom.

There’s no dotcom boom on the horizon right now, so my guess is that the employment population ratio can go up another percentage point and that’s about it. That’s approximately another million jobs before it peaks again, which should take a year or so. By the first half of 2019, the economy probably will have topped out and will be ready to start declining again.

Unless, of course, Republicans decide to artificially boost the economy yet again in hopes of squeezing out just enough activity to keep them in office a little while longer. But if they do, they better be pretty sure of their timing. After all, the bigger the artificial boost, the harder the artificial fall.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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