Aug 28, 2017

Declining Labor Force Participation Not Caused By Social Security Disability Benefits

     From Kathy Ruffing at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:
Labor-force participation — the share of adults 16 and older who are working or looking for work — peaked at just over 67 percent in 1996-2000 and has fallen since then. Some analysts observe that the number of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries grew steeply after 2000, and assume the two trends are related. But evidence for that connection is weak. ...

Rising SSDI receipt and falling labor-force participation aren’t affecting the same age groups. SSDI receipt has grown modestly among older people, especially older women (see graph) — but so has their labor-force participation, as older workers postpone retirement. The drop in labor-market activity is concentrated at younger ages, particularly men, where SSDI receipt has not risen.
      I'd call that chart a definitive answer to the question.


Anonymous said...

One thing I noticed, when I was a kid I worked at grocery stores...McDonalds...restaurants. ..Now you go through the Wendy's or McDonald's drive thru and it's an older man or woman where that used to be a teenager or the bagger at the grocer sometimes is that high school or college kid but for the most part some older adult with kids and rent to pay....I thought these jobs were for high school or college somebody is running a household off this job as oppose to getting thru college....Maybe it's just a California thing?

Anonymous said...

@ 7:22

it's because jobs requiring less education (that pay better than fast food) have dried up over the decades. Get out of that mindset that low wage work is/should only be for teenagers. Our capitalist economy relies on most people having low wages. BLS says HALF of all jobs pay less than $18 an hour, or $37,000 a year. 40% pay less than $15.50 an hour. 15 million workers (or about 7% of the 15-64 population) make minimum wage. This is obviously way too many jobs to be reserved only for kids--a whole bunch of real adults trying to make a life work these tens of millions of jobs.

There are always going to be a lot of low wage earners in this system, and there are way too many of these low wage jobs to be reserved for teens and part-time folks who aren't trying to support families. Our whole system NEEDS all these folks trudging away making no money producing the wealth that so few of us enjoy.

So please, disabuse yourself of the notion that only kids or part-time seeking folks can/should work low wage jobs and that only losers or whatever would fill that type of role. These jobs are the fragile backbone of our disgusting economic system.

Anonymous said...

"I thought these jobs were for high school or college somebody is running a household off this job as oppose to getting thru college"

I thought that a college education was required to be a retail clerk or fast food worker these days.

Anonymous said...

Automation and outside manufacture the major culprits....rapid foreign population another. People once thought automation would be a good thing along with wiring the population to 24/7 info wherever they go so they can now be influenced in every imaginable way.

Anonymous said...

So where is the high school kid that wants a job to buy their first car or to buy their cap and gown or the college kid that needs food money or to pay for books going to work since some grown man or woman took their McDonald's or bagging job at the local grocer supposed to work at?

Anonymous said...

@ 4:56

there are more than enough crap wage jobs to go around. I have read where high schoolers are finding it harder to get work; just goes to show how many adults trying to raise families, etc. are stuck with such low paying work. A lot of that has to do with there just being fewer good paying jobs. On the whole, our adult population is more educated than it's ever been, so I really struggle to see the whole "skill shortage" thing. Yeah, there's a skill shortage in a few industries. But like those folks love to point out (always calling it Econ 101), I bet if they offered more pay they'd find more suitable candidates.