Where have all the workers gone?

participation rate us 2013

That’s in the US. I hadn’t seen this before but it comes as quite a shock. It is certainly lucky for the President that there’s a D after his party affiliation or else the media would have roasted him alive. Meanwhile back in Australia:

ELECTION of the Abbott government in September might have lifted businesses’ spirits but it failed to spark a hiring spree, with unexpectedly weak jobs growth in September and a further drop in the number of people looking for work.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent in September from 5.8 per cent in August but only 9100 new jobs were created, not enough to keep the unemployment rate stable given population growth.

The participation rate – the share of the working-age population in or looking for work – fell to 64.9 per cent, the fourth consecutive monthly fall and the lowest level since 2006.

The total number of people actively seeking work fell a little to 697,000, while full-time employment grew 5000 to 8.1 million and part-time work expanded by 4100 jobs to 3.5 million, according to today’s release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It is a bit early to expect any turnaround from an election that was only a month ago when these data were being collected. Not good figures at all, but they are part of the legacy our new government has inherited, exactly the kind of thing all Coalition governments inherit from their Labor predecessors.