Jobs boom over, or room to run?

From Bloomberg:

Will the U.S. Jobs Boom Last?

The U.S. unemployment rate is at an almost 50-year low. Companies increasingly say that workers are hard to find. So how much longer can hiring keep up the pace of the past several years?

The not-so-satisfying answer: It depends.

U.S. employers added an estimated 155,000 workers to nonfarm payrolls in November — a bit less than expected, but still enough to keep the three-month average at a respectable 170,000. The performance also extends the country’s longest-ever streak of net monthly job gains to eight years, two months.

Once upon a time, economists would have considered such a rate of job growth unsustainable. They estimated that the population of willing and able workers was increasing at somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 a month, so they figured the unemployment rate would remain steady as long as employers hired roughly that number of people. If hiring stayed above that breakeven level, it would eventually exhaust supply.

By most measures, the U.S. should be getting close to that exhaustion point. Consider the share of prime-aged workers (aged 25 to 54) who have jobs. As of November, it stood at 79.7 percent, not far from its pre-recession average of 80.1 percent. Closing that gap would take almost 500,000 jobs — something that, given a breakeven level of 100,000 or less and monthly job gains averaging 170,000, could happen within a year.

The breakeven level, though, depends on a lot more than population growth. If, for example, people start retiring later, then more new jobs will be needed to accommodate the young folks just starting out. Or if abundant opportunities draw more people into the labor force, supply could keep expanding. For such reasons, some economists now think job growth of as much as 200,000 a month could be sustainable for quite a while. This might also help explain why wages haven’t been rising faster.

In short, the U.S. economy can’t keep generating this many jobs every month forever. But that doesn’t mean it has to end soon.

This entry was posted in Demographics, Economics, Employment, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Jobs boom over, or room to run?

  1. Yo! says:

    Could be a lot of room to run. Australia, a similar country, is its 28th straight year of economic and job growth. Can’t rule out that happening here. Trump 2028?

  2. Yo! says:

    Latest read on Boston unemployment is 2.7%. I asked some employers there if they worried about finding workers. Answers went something like this, “No way, with Harvard, MIT, and all the other universities, we are guaranteed an endless supply of skilled workers forever.”

  3. Yo! says:

    US energy production is surging. US recently passed Russia to become #1 oil producer. The US is now a net oil exporter for first time in 75 years. Great news for economy and jobs.

  4. The Great Pumpkin says:


    This will be the greatest economic boom of our lifetimes. I love how everyone is calling for a recession on the simple notion that this cycle is “long in the tooth.” They have been saying this for how many years now? I think from 2013 on, every year has been the same bs this time of year. Next year stocks and housing will crash…blah blah blah. Ask them why and you get bs like this cycle is long in the tooth. Lmao

  5. GdBlsU45 says:

    The left has moved from an era of political correctness to allowing the mentally disturbed to eastablish cultural norms. Nj fake news has now endorsed prince Eric from the little mermaid as a rapist.

  6. grim says:

    When does Princeton start banning music and books?

  7. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    If you go into the Princeton book store on Nassau street, their children’s section reads like an indoctrination outlet. Currently on display are children’s books on the Women’s march. Half of it was dedicated to Hillary Clinton’s run as president. They also have a bunch but one of my favorites was the “Who is Fidel Castro” children’s book. They talk about Fidel and his friend Che.

  8. 1987 Condo says:

    For those interested, I think that this article articulates the benefits of our representative republic (with Electoral College vs “Pure” democracy), but detailing France’s issue with the “Yellow jackets”…

  9. 1987 Condo says:

    WSJ article if you have pay wall issues:

    Macron’s Warning to America’s Ascendant Left
    The French president thought he could steamroll the rural minority on fuel taxes. Riots ensued.

    By Joseph C. Sternberg
    Dec. 6, 2018 6:34 p.m. ET

    The most common explanation for France’s gilets jaunes protests against fuel-tax hikes is that they arise from too little democracy. Lower-income and rural citizens feel left behind by President Emmanuel Macron’s aggressive economic reform agenda, which ignores their interests and benefits an urban elite. The opposite is true. The protests are happening because France has too much democracy. What it’s lacking is politics.

    Mr. Macron’s political movement was born of the notion that France needed to become more democratic. As a young technocrat-in-training and junior government minister, he became convinced that special interests within the traditional parties obstructed national progress.

    As Economist correspondent Sophie Pedder notes in her illuminating biography of the president, the premise is that as a numerical matter there are enough actual or potential winners from economic reform and globalization that a leader could cull those voters from the old parties and unite them under a new banner. It would then be possible to steamroll minority opposition.

    Which is precisely what Mr. Macron did. It helped that his rise came in an era when French politics was becoming steadily more democratic overall.

    A 2000 constitutional amendment shortened the presidential term to five years from seven—explicitly to align the presidential and legislative election calendars. This amplifies a president’s mandate (already bolstered by a runoff voting system meant to exaggerate electoral support for the eventual winner) by reducing the risk that he might have to “cohabit” with a National Assembly controlled by the opposing party. Mainstream parties have adopted the U.S. style of intraparty primary campaigning, allowing party members to pick who leads them into general elections.

    The inexorable logic of all this democratization: If the rural, low-income yellow-vest protesters feel left behind, well, leave them behind. Christophe Guilluy, the geographer who coined the phrase “peripheral France” to describe this segment of the population, estimates it at about 60%. But there’s reason to suspect that’s an overcount. Most conspicuously, the far-right National Front that everyone thinks is the natural home for peripheral voters keeps losing. Marine Le Pen, the party’s presidential candidate last year, scored only 21% in the first round and 34% in the runoff against Mr. Macron.

    Similar “peripheral” movements elsewhere, from the Sweden Democrats to the Alternative for Germany, also have discovered there’s a limit to their support somewhere short of one-third of the electorate. Not even Donald Trump represents a full victory of the periphery, having run two percentage points behind Hillary Clinton in the nationwide popular vote.

    Yet peripheral voters still are a substantial minority. And the widespread rioting in France shows the dangers of allowing a healthy dose of democracy to transmogrify into a brutal majoritarianism. Majority rule has its place, but it’s no way to knit together a diverse society.

    Those special interests Mr. Macron derided turn out to have provided ballast. A center-right Republican Party under its failed 2017 candidate, François Fillon, would have effected some labor-law and civil-service reforms for which there is now broad support, but that party’s rural base would have precluded the green-energy follies that are sinking Mr. Macron.

    The other word for this is “politics,” whose practitioners delicately trade interests and strike compromises to make majority rule more palatable to the minority. Having eschewed this form of politics, and lacking any formal way to account for peripheral concerns in a constitutional system that mercilessly rewards majority rule, Mr. Macron can only flail. The fuel tax that started this mess is on hold. So may be other parts of his agenda, some of which could have enjoyed more durable support.

    Do America’s coastal Democrats get the message? They believe they represent an ascendant majority, and election results in recent years suggest they may be right for now. One can sympathize with their frustration that America’s complex federal system doesn’t automatically translate an electoral majority into power where it counts in Congress or the White House. This frustration increasingly leads to rhetorical attacks on the Constitution, whose mechanisms—especially the Senate and the Electoral College—block majoritarianism and make it impossible for progressives to govern from their demographic strongholds on the coasts.

    The lesson from France is that restraints on majority rule are a good thing. Democrats would do better to focus on the practice of politics rather than on constitutional re-engineering. Mr. Macron is discovering that those politicians who live by strict majoritarianism can die by the social unrest it triggers. So can their agendas.

  10. GdBlsU45 says:

    NJ fake news also buried the fact that Murphy’s chief of staff is heading for the exit. Nothing to see here of course but a bunch of BS stories trashing Trump of course.

  11. 86 Condo says:


    From your post quoted below, do you mean like these Reps in Wisconsin’s (do as I say, not as I do)

    “The lesson from France is that restraints on majority rule are a good thing. Democrats would do better to focus on the practice of politics rather than on constitutional re-engineering.”

  12. leftwing says:

    “When does Princeton start banning music and books?”
    “…one of my favorites was the “Who is Fidel Castro” children’s book.”

    “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is being banned by some radio stations as offensive to the MeToo movement…CBS reported on it and an associated survey…Results were running 90% in favor of keeping it on the playlist…Even Gayle King weighed in ad hoc on air with commentary that was basically “just fcuking stop already”.

    Separately, the Cuban National Museum itself takes a dim view of the economic and political results in the 70s following the revolution…I took a photo of that narrative while visiting it in Havana, I’ll post it later. Sounds like the American Left is left of even the Cuban Left these days lol.

    Going to be an interesting political season coming up. Yes, the obvious read is a repudiation of Trump by more mainstream Repub and Indie voters. The Left would do well to remember that is very different from a mandate though. Especially with some of the grassroots whack jobs they elected. Will be fun watching them try to govern across that coalition.

  13. 3b says:

    Across the pond there are calls to censor Fairytale of New York as the song contains the words faggot and slut and those words are offensive to some.

  14. 3b says:

    Across the pond there are calls to censor Fairytale of New York as it contains two words that are deemed offensive.

  15. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    If you like to drive fast where there is little to no traffic enforcement, Costa Rica is great just for that alone. I drove over 1200Km at a high rate of speed, in a brand new SUV that didn’t even have license plates. No problemo.

  16. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    From the road, it looks a lot like this:

  17. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Aprendí español:

    La calabaza es un puro retardado.

  18. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    No creo que la esposa de Pumpkin lo golpee más.

  19. Pübütto says:

    I cruised at 110 the other day on the 405….

  20. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    carro de niña

  21. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    How about this song? The main gist is “I called first dibs on your puzzy when it comes back on the market.”

    “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is being banned by some radio stations as offensive to the MeToo movement…CBS reported on it and an associated survey…Results were running 90% in favor of keeping it on the playlist…Even Gayle King weighed in ad hoc on air with commentary that was basically “just fcuking stop already”.

  22. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Of course, Joe Tex mellowed a bit by the late 70’s with Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)

  23. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Three nights ago I was at a disco
    Man, I wanted to bump, I was rarin’ to go
    And this big fat woman, bumped me on the floor
    She was rarin’ to go, that chick was rarin’ to go
    Man she did a dip, almost broke my hip
    She was gettin’ down, that chick was gettin’ down
    She wanted to bump some more, but I told her, no
    You done knocked me down once
    You done knocked me down once
    Said, if you want to dance
    Find you a big fat man
    Ya’ll both can get on down
    Ya’ll both can get on down, huh

  24. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Don’t forget the flip side to Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman):

    Be Cool (Willy is Dancing with a Sissy)

  25. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    LOL. Comey transcript released. He should have titled his book a A Higher Level of Sergeant Schultz.

    “I know nothing! I see nothing!”

  26. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “Small-time in­vestors who flooded into real es­tate in the past decade to take ad­van­tage of low bor­row­ing costs and ris­ing home val­ues are start­ing to cut back. The moves in­di­cate that the mar­ket’s short-term risk-tak­ers see lim­ited up­side—and pos­si­ble tur­bu­lence—ahead.”

  27. ExEssex says:

    11:37 it’s da bomb

  28. Bystander says:

    A little light reading for Blump though he still won’t comprehend.

    Bernanke: There’s No Housing Bubble to Go Bust

    By Nell Henderson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, October 27, 2005
    Ben S. Bernanke does not think the national housing boom is a bubble that is about to burst, he indicated to Congress last week, just a few days before President Bush nominated him to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    U.S. house prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years, noted Bernanke, currently chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, in testimony to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. But these increases, he said, “largely reflect strong economic fundamentals,” such as strong growth in jobs, incomes and the number of new households.

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