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.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate