Why Is Employment Becoming a Lagging Indicator?
By Bryan Caplan
Tyler’s impressed that spending and output are up, but employment
isn’t. But the simplest story is just that employment is becoming a lagging indicator.* Consider: After the last “jobless recovery,” the unemployment rate still fell to 4.9% by the end of 2005.
It seems a lot more helpful to explore why the lag between output and employment is increasing instead of speculating that 5% of the labor force has mysteriously become useless. Your stories?
* If it wasn’t already. Wikipedia names unemployment as a “coincident
indicator” but also says “The unemployment rate is a lagging indicator:
employment tends to increase two or three quarters after an upturn in
the general economy.” Roubini said employment and unemployment were lagging indicators back in January of 2007.