Glum job prospects, say officials

LBO News from Doug Henwood

On December 8, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its employment projections for the next decade (or 2014–2024 to be precise). They don’t make for happy reading.

The Bureau projects GDP growth of 2.2% a year over the decade, well under the 3.6% average that prevailed from 1950–2000, and lower even than the 2.4% average from 2000–2007, a period that contained a recession and the weakest expansion in U.S. history. And they also project that labor force participation (the sum of the employed and those actively looking for work, aka the officially unemployed), which has been frustratingly stagnant in this expansion, will decline by 2 percentage points over the decade. This is partly the result of an aging population—the median age of the labor force, which was 37.7 in 1994, and was 41.9 in 2014, will rise to 42.4 in 2024. In other words, job growth will go from roughly…

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