Talk:Unemployment in the United States

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Edits by Jasmine[edit]

Hi, I am going to be working on editing this Wikipedia page over the next several weeks. Please let me know if you have any problems. Thank you, Jasmine.tsui (talk) 05:14, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

I wrote most of the article, so I'm happy to have the help. I wrote much of it a time when there was a lot of debate about how to put folks back to work and how to measure slack in the labor market, neither of which is as big an issue today. It can be shortened and perhaps split into multiple sub-articles (e.g., causes was split out already).Farcaster (talk) 03:16, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Unemployment in the United States[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Unemployment in the United States's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "ReferenceA":

  • From Economy of the United States: Regulation and Control in the U.S. Economy:
  • From Great Depression: Charles Duhigg, "Depression, You Say? Check Those Safety Nets", New York Times, March 23, 2008
  • From Globalization: Reich, Robert. (1992). The Work of the Nations, Preparing Ourselves for 21st century Capitalism. Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf,

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 18:22, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Employment growth by top tax rate image[edit]

I've started a centralised discussion here regarding File:Employment growth by top tax rate.jpg, which is used in this article. Gabbe (talk) 09:59, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

There is an additional discussion of the deleted graph at [1] and the subsequent section. EllenCT (talk) 01:27, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Topics to add / To-Do's[edit]

  • Finish reading Bittle and Johnson-Where Did the Jobs Go?Farcaster (talk) 18:48, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Unemployment varies by state. BLS has charts on this.Farcaster (talk) 18:48, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Add some weight to structural factors; point out both structural and cyclical can be fixed together.Farcaster (talk) 18:49, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Ratio of jobs that are private sector vs. government.Farcaster (talk) 15:32, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Impact of healthcare costs and other employer costs; Temp vs. full time work trends.Farcaster (talk) 15:33, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Discussion of impact on employment of minimum wage.Farcaster (talk) 16:28, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Edits by Marek[edit]

Most will be reverted. In general, removing sources you do or don't like is not up to you (e.g., EPI). You can certainly balance the argument but removing a cited source's view is not appropriate. Similarly, removing anti-globalist text you dont' agree with will be reverted. Further, if you place banners but not detailed explanations for why you did, I'll revert them. I'll give you an opportunity to correct your edits or I will revert them wholesale.19:58, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

The problem is that the overwhelming majority of this article in the section which I edited consists of synthesis and original research, with a bit of unreliable sources, like EPI thrown in.
The banners are self explanatory. If a source discusses X but doesn't discuss unemployment but the text draws a connection between X and unemployment that's synthesis. If a source does not support the text being cited but rather someone's interpretation of something that's original research. If a section presents an analysis of the phenomenon (impact of labor unions on unemployment) which is completely at odds with what the standard theory and research say, that's obvious POV pushing. If a partisan, biased advocacy group is being used to push a POV which is based on shoddy and questionable methodology which has no basis in serious scholarship (converting $ of trade deficit into "jobs lost" - that's just ridiculous and would be laughed out of any serious scholarly publication) then that source is not reliable.
So yes, in those cases the text and the unreliable sources need to be removed.
More generally the article suffers from the same OR and SYNTH problems, and the off-topic axe grinding that characterizes other articles of the similar nature. My hope was that by focusing on the most egregiousness policy violations in the worst section section we could avoid slapping up this article with a plethora of quality related tags which is what it really deserves.
Wikipedia is not the place to push your own particular POV.Volunteer Marek 20:57, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
The person pushing the POV is you, arguing no matter how overwhelming the facts that free trade is good for employment in developed countries, when dozens of economists have argued the contrary. The cited sources make the connections. There are economists quoted in the article who draw a clear connection between the trade deficit and unemployment. Saying that importing $750billion more in goods than we export doesn't hurt our employment is what is crazy. Krugman explains how the labor movement contributed to a variety of benefits and his views are cited from his book and yes, many economists believe as he does. You are in no position to judge EPI or Heritage or CBPP or any other group and decide whether they are or are not credible. EPI is widely cited in the news media. One point I agree with you on is summarizing the 14 recommendations from Bittle & Johnson and I'll re-introduce that in summarized form. If you know their work, they have hundreds of footnotes in their book and it's just a fantastic summary of the pros and cons of these issues. So a big revert is coming, sorry to say. Maybe you should try to balance the article with other views rather than try to cut what you don't agree with.Farcaster (talk) 22:07, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Where exactly have I made the argument, either explicitly on some talk page or in the article that "free trade is good for employment in developed countries, when dozens of economists have argued the contrary"? You are attacking a strawman concocted by your own imagination. BTW, most economists think that while trade may have a substantial impact on wages, its impact on employment is negligible (as Brad DeLong once put it, trade causes inter-sectoral shifts in employment but doesn't really affect the overall level of unemployment).
The cited sources do not make the connection. What's more most of the text I removed is about wages, not unemployment.
EPI is an agenda based advocacy group. Krugman has been scathingly critical of them in the past, for example, particularly in regard to their "work" on issues involving trade. And it's not me judging EPI etc, but Wikipedia's policy. (But just think of it - the methodology they use, converting $ amounts of the trade deficit, to "jobs lost" is plainly ridiculous and can only be justified by a very biased political motivation rather than any serious academic consideration).
As far as Bittle & Johnson goes, that, content wise, was probably the least problematic of the material I removed, though the presentation was definitively not optimal.Volunteer Marek 00:33, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Here is the quote from two noted economists, in the section on trade and currency; perhaps combining the that with the trade deficit section will clear up the synthesis issue; not sure how much clearer the linkage can be: "Economists C. Fred Bergsten and Joseph E. Gagnon wrote in September 2012: "The most overlooked cause of the economic weakness in the United States and Europe is what we call the 'global currency wars.' If all currency intervention were to cease, we estimate that the US trade deficit would fall by $150 billion to $300 billion, or 1 to 2 percent of gross domestic product. Between 1 million and 2 million jobs would be created. The euro area would gain by a lesser but still substantial amount. Countries that were engaged in intervention could offset the impact on their economies by expanding domestic demand." You've already seen the quote from The Economist saying the trade deficit was a big factor in our financial crisis (and therefore the resulting unemployment).Farcaster (talk) 04:57, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
You seem to respect Krugman. Its pretty clear hear how free trade is hurting the middle class, whose jobs are getting offshored. Try this on for size: Paul Krugman-The Trouble With Trade Farcaster (talk) 05:09, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I do respect Paul Krugman but please note that in the past he has emphasized both the positive and negative aspects of trade, and has been very critical of people who reflexively blame US unemployment or other problems on "dem forrners!". Additionally most of the negative impact of trade, to the extent it's a significant factor, would be on wages and wage inequality, not employment, which is what this article's about. Finally, even Krugman represents one particular view point in the spectrum of reliable sources/opinions among economists, and there's plenty of economists who would disagree with him ("respect" is not necessarily the same as "agree").
As for Bergsten and Gagnon. First, it's an op-ed. Usually those aren't considered reliable sources. From a private think tank (and apparently, if the Wikipedia article on the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the authors seem to think that Denmark is one of the worst currency manipulators - but the krone is obviously fixed to the Euro!) The whole piece is written in an inflammatory propagandistic style. It's not a reliable source. Still, please note that I left that in the article as it is at least relevant to the topic. It should probably be removed. But I haven't done that yet.
You did this before, I believe. When I removed OR and SYNTH from an article, you'd turn around and argue about the validity of sources or text that I did not remove. What gives? Volunteer Marek 18:13, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Synthesis seems to be the issue we've argued over. I'm not sure how much evidence it will take to draw a line between free trade and high unemployment, but I've included several sources that show it. I included a quote from the Krugman article that makes it clear offshoring of mid-level jobs is a big part of free trade with low-wage countries, hence unemployment. He makes a clear distinction between trade with low-wage countries (big positives and negatives in terms of jobs) and high-wage countries (which is generally win-win). Most folks haven't made that leap yet. Free trade with a low-wage country is a much different animal that with a high-wage country; that is the new thing hurting us.Farcaster (talk) 19:35, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
No, you really haven't, but to the extent that some sources do actually discuss unemployment and the trade deficit together, I've left those in (except EPI blog etc. which is simply not reliable (as well as offensive to basic economic logic)). Did I remove anything by Krugman from the article? No? Then how is that relevant? What I've removed is a bunch of off-topic stuff that takes about trade and wages (not unemployment) and several instances where you synthesize different sources which do NOT discuss trade (or "factor x") and unemployment together, to draw your own conclusions - which is the very definition of synthesis and original research.
Your reverts are not justified as you haven't addressed these concerns or issues. Rather than trying to re-cram all this stuff in, how about instead going out there and finding reliable, and scholarly sources which talk about the topic instead? Volunteer Marek 14:50, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Here's an obvious example of synthesis from some of the stuff you reverted. You use this source [2] for a quote about world excess supply of labor. You then add "The reference to "excess supplies of labor" refers to unemployment in developed nations. " Does it? Where in the article does it say so? You drew that inference yourself to draw the conclusion you wanted. That's synthesis. More generally, as I've noted the article is about there being insufficient global demand (i.e. a world wide recession) that can soak up this excess supply. That's what the article refers to throughout and basically how basic macroeconomic theory works. Volunteer Marek 14:57, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

It's an obvious example of your bias, not a synthesis problem. What is "excess supply of labor" - UNEMPLOYMENT. You keep giving your bias away by reverting cited sources. I put that sentence in there to make it obvious but you can remove that sentence if you leave the original cite in. Also, why remove the Gross quote? EPI is a valid source, if you don't like it find a source with a contrary view. Why remove the WSJ poll article that says free trade is no longer supported by the majority of Americans? You can tag synthesis if you want but leave the cited sources in there. I've left the wages commentary out of there, but remember if U.S. wages are stagnant than GDP is not growing like it used to which causes...unemployment. And yes, you did remove a Krugman quote when you removed the section on globalization initially. I put a different quote from the same article back in that is more clearly on unemployment/offshoring vs. wages.Farcaster (talk) 17:46, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
No, that's your interpretation of the source. The source does not "refer to unemployment in developed nations".
EPI is not a valid source. It's an advocacy group, with ties to major import-competing labor unions, and that particular piece uses extremely shoddy methodology. Additionally, their blog is most certainly not reliable. Why not sprinkle sources from Cato Institutute or something all through out?
WSJ is removed because that section is about the actual causes of unemployment, not what people on the street think causes unemployment. People on the street think that foreign aid is the reason for the deficit too (always easier to blame those forrenrs!). So what? It's not. People on the street, or even some politicians, even think we're experiencing hyperfinflation (seriously). So what? We're not. You could probably put that in a different section though.
The reason to tag synthesis as synthesis is for it either to be de-synthesized or removed. Since it has not been de-synthesized, it needs to be removed.
Good thing you left wages out of there. But this claim "if U.S. wages are stagnant than GDP is not growing like it used to which causes...unemployment" is pure original research. It's also not necessarily true (it could be, but not always - in fact right now we're in the very situation where GDP is growing but wages are stagnant), and it implies a direction of causality that may or may not be there.
Basically, NONE of the issues regarding synthesis, original research have been addressed. I can go through examples over and over again but it's pretty plain. But here is some more:
"Since the early 1980s, the globalization of production and the growth of markets abroad have driven many firms to locate production closer to their customers..." - sure, it's true, but the source makes no connection between this and unemployment. By linking this with unemployment you're basically committing the Luddite fallacy, which is pure original research on your part. Let's break some windows while we're at it.
"In 2005, Ben Bernanke addressed the implications of the USA's high and rising current account deficit..." - sure, he addressed these. But the word "unemployment" does not even appear in the source [3]. By linking Bernanke's views on the trade deficit with unemployment you are putting words in his mouth = original research and synthesis.
" The U.S. continues to debate whether China should be labeled as a "currency manipulator," - No, the "US" does not continue to debate, just the guy who wrote this editorial - a NON RELIABLE SOURCE - labels China as such (and Denmark as well, apparently, which is just plain ridiculous, as Denmark doesn't even control their currency!). This is a propagandistic op-ed piece. It's not a reliable source.
The Zakaria and Gross stuff is just a bunch of blogs. Again, this is an article - and this section in particular - about what causes unemployment, not what someone thinks about unemployment. We can have opinions of pundits in the article, but that ain't the section for it, especially when pundit opinions are at odds with academic work. Move that to the "Political debates" section
Volunteer Marek 18:32, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Zakaria and Gross: These are op-eds by these guys, two hugely influential folks. Appropriate to include in commentary. Removing from a globalization commentary section? That is exactly where it belongs. But if you want to move it, fine. Removing it is not appropriate if its cited. Further, your view that their views are contrary to research is ridiculous. Plenty of research on both sides of the free trade argument. You can't simply decide who to include and exclude based on your view.
Romney planned to call China a manipulator on day one. That is continuing debate. Many economists commented on the pros and cons of that move. If you want to add more citations, that is fine.
Bernanke clearly indicated the risks that a high trade deficit poses to our economy. The Economist made the connection between the trade deficit and our economic collapse. Bernanke argued that capital was being forced into the country. The rest is history. If you just want to include Krugman's summary, that is fine as he hits the high points of Bernanke's longer piece. Are you denying this economic crisis directly contributed to unemployment?
Firms locating production closer to customers (e.g., offshoring). Several sources in the article link offshoring to unemployment.
If A implies B, and B implies C, then A implies C. That is not synthesis. Or did logic take a day off?Farcaster (talk) 18:55, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

I'll revert wholesale again unless you make a good faith effort to integrate the cited sources.Farcaster (talk) 18:55, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

No. Zakaria and Gross belong, if anywhere, in the "Political debates" section not in the "Factors" section. They're pundits, not economists or scholars.

China as "currency manipulator" is not a continuing debate. It's just one op-ed you got there. That really shouldn't be included at all, but also would belong in the Political debates section.

Bernanke did not even mention unemployment in his discussion of the deficit. This is pure original research and synthesis on your part. I don't know how much more obvious this can be. You're basically engaging in WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT that.

Maybe other sources link offshoring to unemployment but that source doesn't. Also even calling "locating production closer to customers" "offshoring" is original research (and not even factually correct).

The problem with your "A implies B, etc" argument is that YOU think that "B implies C", other sources don't. If A implies B, B implies C and A implies C then find a source which says that. Not one source which YOU think says "A implies B", and then another source which YOU think says "B implies C" and then synthesize that into "A implies C". If the premises don't hold your whole neologism goes out the window. Writing Wikipedia articles is not homework in logic, it's collecting and documenting existing work. Or to put it in logical terms for you, "logic" is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for something to be included. And if it's faulty logic, which is what we got here, then it's neither.Volunteer Marek 19:18, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

And the Economist most certainly did NOT make "the connection between the trade deficit and our economic collapse". Gawd, this is more junk that needs to be removed. There is significant debate regarding the impact of the trade deficit on the economy and employment, and therefore the budget deficit. - not among economists there isn't. Trade deficits basically don't matter for unemployment, or if they do, the impact is minuscule. Here very basic. that the inflow of investment dollars required to fund the trade deficit was a major cause of the housing bubble and financial crisis - no they didn't write that. What they wrote was that the deficit was financed by foreign savings. Because domestic consumption was high and domestic savings were low (these are accounting identities - two sides of the same coin). The actual cause of the economic crisis was "dodgy mortgages to buy overvalued houses". There is nothing in the article which says that the deficit CAUSED these dodgy mortages. There is nothing in the article which says that the deficit CAUSED the financial crisis. That part is your synthesis and original research again.

And seriously. Trade deficits are not even CORRELATED with unemployment. Certainly they do not CAUSE it. Oh wait, let me correct that: trade deficits are NEGATIVELY correlated with unemployment - when trade deficits are high, unemployment is low.Volunteer Marek 19:31, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

For the items you think belong in other sections, why not move them instead of deleting them?
The Economist quote is in the article and says that the trade deficit caused the inflow of savings which drove the bubble and hence was a cause of the crisis and unemployment. It's right there in black and white; your attempt to modify their meaning (especially in the context of the Krugman summary of Bernanke's work) is the OR. By definition, a trade deficit must be financed by an inflow of capital. It's the balance of payment identity, a rule which holds true by definition. Re-read the Economist article and Krugman article on the Glut before you delete. You cannot miss their meaning.
Romney was going to brand China a currency manipulator on day 1. It's an ongoing debate when a Presidential candidate is advocating such dire action. It was widely covered in the media. Why not cite a source or put uncited, rather than deleting?
Krugman summarized Bernanke's article and explained how the trade deficit (and corresponding inflow of capital) was a cause of the crisis. Are you going to make me put a big quote from that too?
I've included some important economists (C. Fred Bergsten, for example) who directly relate the trade deficit to unemployment and currency manipulation. So your view there is one view but a cited source disagrees with you.
Seems you like to revert cited material you don't agree with. Plenty of evidence in this article that the trade deficit contributed to the housing bubble, which contributed to the crisis.
I'm wasting my time here. I'll revert at some point and we can play this game as long as we both want to bother. But remember; I wrote this article and you are just criticizing without really contributing anything. Think about that.Farcaster (talk) 00:50, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
P.S. Here is the Krugman article, cited previously next to the Bernanke without any quotes. Yet more evidence the trade deficit contributed to our economic collapse. Maybe I'll expand with his summary, easier to understand than Bernanke. Krugman-Revenge of the Glut Farcaster (talk) 00:57, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

For the items you think belong in other sections, why not move them instead of deleting them? - Because I think that blogs and opinion pieces don't really belong in an encyclopedia. If you want to, you can move it there.

The Economist quote is in the article - yes, I know, I already referred to it and quoted it myself. However, it most certainly does NOT say that "the trade deficit caused the inflow of savings which drove the bubble and hence was a cause of the crisis and unemployment.". That's your interpretation. Look, inflows of foreign savings and a trade deficit are the same exact thing. It's really a different way of stating the same thing. It's essentially a matter of accounting definitions. It's 4=2+2 vs 4=2*2. There's no trade deficit "caused" inflow of saving in there. Not in the article, not logically. It also does NOT say that the inflow of foreign savings "drove" the bubble. What it says is that low domestic saving and high domestic spending, financed by foreign borrowing, on dodgy mortgages caused the crisis. It does NOT say that the trade deficit "was a cause of the crisis and unemployment". Nowhere in there. It. Just. Does. Not. Say. That. It's your synthesis and original research.

Romney was going to brand China a currency manipulator ... - well, he lost, he didn't, and all you got is one dodgy source (an opinion piece) which mentions it in a blatantly wrong context. Again, doesn't belong here. If it was notable and if it had actually happened and if you had a better source, then, maybe, it could go in the "Political debates" section. But it's not, it didn't and you don't.

Krugman summarized Bernanke's article and explained how the trade deficit (and corresponding inflow of capital) was a cause of the crisis.... - yes, Krugman summarizes Bernanke. No, he does not say the trade deficit was a cause of the crisis. You made that part up. Krugman blames "wide-open, loosely regulated financial systems" and the housing bubble for the crisis. The trade deficit is just an accounting side effect of capital inflow. And if you didn't have a dodgy financial system and a housing bubble - caused by domestic factors - then that capital inflow wouldn't even been correlated with the crisis. In fact, IF you wanted to make a statement about causation here then the statement "Most of that money went to the United States — hence our giant trade deficit" indicates that it's the inflow CAUSING the trade deficit rather than vice-versa, as you've made it up (though that's not exactly right either). So again, you're making stuff up to push a POV.

I've included some important economists (C. Fred Bergsten, for example) ... - yes, Bergsten is an economist. From a think tank. Is it really too much to ask for you to find at least one (1, single, uno) scholarly article which positively relates trade deficits to unemployment? If you can't, that's probably because there aren't any. This is yet another op-ed piece (and frankly, your propensity to cherry pick only the op-ed pieces that support a particular view pretty clearly demonstrates that you are just POV-pushing here). And finally, as I've already pointed out I didn't even remove this part So once again you are brining something which is irrelevant. I am going to remove it though, since now that I've had a closer look it's clearly not reliable.

Seems you like to revert cited material you don't agree with. - No. I've removed material which is not supported by sources, which is original research or synthesis and which is off-topic.

Plenty of evidence in this article that the trade deficit contributed to the housing bubble, which contributed to the crisis. - You are just asserting this. You have not demonstrated this in the least bit.

and we can play this game as long as we both want to bother. - Look. All you're doing here is denying that any problems exist and then just reverting. I point out that something is wrong and you just keep repeating "no, it's not! no, it's not! no, it's not!" and revert. Or you bring up irrelevancies like text which I did not remove. Or keep repeating the same claim which is demonstrably false and not supported by sources, despite the fact that it's already been pointed out that this claim is not in the source. This is the very definition of Wikipedia:Tendentious editing and WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. This is the exact same tactic you employed at the other article where we had disagreement, on the fiscal deficit, which suffered from the same problems of synth and OR, and the same POV pushing. Same obfuscation and stonewalling. There, I gave up because frankly I don't have time to waste on this kind of obviously bad faith behavior.

And yes, you wrote the article. And what you wrote has serious problems and goes against Wikipedia's core policies. What I am doing is contributing. It's called "editing". Look up what an "editor" does. S/he removes nonsense, cuts craft, trims crap and tones down inappropriate language (in this case, language inappropriate for an encyclopedia). That's what this article needs, that's what a meaningful contribution to the article entails - not more words or text of somebody's half-cooked ideas and POV original research.

Volunteer Marek 01:29, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

If Bernanke, Krugman, and the Economist cannot convince you the trade deficit/inflow of capital was a cause of the crisis and resulting unemployment, then I have no chance. The sources are cited and quoted. You have an ideological view of trade which is fine, you can include all the "scholarly articles" to which you are referring. If you think EPI is not credible, fine, include a source that says so. It will add to the article to show some good faith attempts to make it better. Considering this is probably the most important issue facing the country right now, as a "Master Editor" you can no doubt find some time to counterbalance some of the cited sources I've included or add sources to shed light on their credibility or add some content on other causes of unemployment and solutions.Farcaster (talk) 21:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Free trade with low wage countries -> Trade deficit / Inflow of capital --> housing bubble --> financial crisis --> unemployment. If that chain is not sufficiently clear, then tag it with synthesis and I'll work on it, as we've done here the past couple of days. Likewise: Free trade with low wage countries --> Offshoring --> Unemployment.Farcaster (talk) 21:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

One. More. Freakin. Time. Bernanke does NOT link the trade deficit to unemployment. The Economist does NOT say the housing bubble was caused by the trade deficit. You're making all that stuff up on your own, which is original research and synthesis. Your "flow chart" above with the arrows is your own particular theory, one which has no actual support in sources. You are making stuff up.

And no, the way it works is not that we just tag POV SYNTH and let it sit there - unless there's hope of it being fixed, which very obviously here it is not - we remove it.Volunteer Marek 23:19, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

So we've got an article on U.S. unemployment that excludes serious discussion of the trade deficit, currency manipulation, polls that show U.S. turning against free trade, quotes from Economist/Krugman/Bernanke on how the trade deficit contributed to our housing bubble? I guess we'll have to agree to disagree and I'll revert every few days.Farcaster (talk) 00:13, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
"I'll revert every few days". - Yea... that's not how it's supposed to work. What you are suppose to do is to remove the synthesis and original research or come up with sources which support that material.
And will you please stop misrepresenting the situation. There is still plenty of discussion in the article - after I removed the SYNTH and OR stuff - about offshoring and trade deficits and currency valuation (though honestly there's still some junk in there). There's also a "globalization commentary section". So it's just simply NOT TRUE that the article "excludes serious discussion...". You keep making these blatantly false claims and you expect me to continue this conversation in good faith?
Along those lines ... pardon me for what follows, but at this point it appears necessary: Economist/Krugman/Bernanke DO NOT SAY THAT THE TRADE DEFICIT CONTRIBUTED TO OUR HOUSING BUBBLE. YOU are the one who made that up, drawing that conclusion yourself. I've pointed this out like five times now but you keep repeating this. It's your idea. Not theirs. Not in the sources. Please read WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. Eight times. Let it sink it. Attributing a ridiculous idea like that to Bernanke or Krugman in fact, almost borders on a WP:BPL violation.Volunteer Marek 03:08, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Smart people can agree to disagree. And yes they did, several times.

  • The Economist directly stated it. You cannot miss it. The quote is still in the article. "The trade deficit, less than 1% of GDP in the early 1990s, hit 6% in 2006. That deficit was financed by inflows of foreign savings, in particular from East Asia and the Middle East. Much of that money went into dodgy mortgages to buy overvalued houses, and the financial crisis was the result."
  • Krugman directly stated it (what do you think "Glut" in "Revenge of the Glut" means? What do you think the "Revenge" is that he's talking about...hint, its the crisis). It's the savings glut (Bernanke's term, which Krugman points to), which comes from the trade deficit--the balance of payments identity. Bernanke mentions that the surplus savings or savings glut forced its way into our market; he contrasts that with the conventional view that the trade deficit "pulled" the money in. Krugman titled the article that way for a reason...
  • While not in this article (yet) you should look up NPR's Peabody Award Winning article, "The Giant Pool of Money" which blames the inflow of savings from all over the world as well for the housing bubble and sustained low interest rates. This savings comes of course from gigantic trade deficits across the developed world; NPR says "the main headline is that all sorts of poor countries became kind of rich, making things like TVs and selling us oil. China, India, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia made a lot of money and banked it." This means the trade deficit, but they don't say that directly and you probably won't stipulate it.

You should consider the trade deficit and its flipside, the inflow of capital, as the two sides of the same coin. I believe you said that too. If we weren't buying all this stuff from Asia, they wouldn't have all the savings, which flowed back in and was directed to housing, driving the housing bubble. Yes, it could theoretically have been diverted to some other asset, but it was not. The money to inflate the bubble came from the trade deficit. I'll revert every few days, so can you, and we'll both have our ideas represented. Down the road, some other editors can come in and make some changes that hopefully we can both live with. Or some economists will happen upon this thread and write an op ed piece with the full synthesis I've indicated above in one place so you can be happy. Of course provided they don't work for a think tank you don't like.Farcaster (talk) 07:18, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

The quote from the Economist you provide DOES NOT SAY THE DEFICIT CAUSED THE BUBBLE. Period. It's not there. The word "caused" is not used. It explicitly says the financial crisis was the result of dodgy mortgages and buying of overvalued houses.
If you have to ask me what "Glut" means and what "Revenge" means, then it's obvious that Krugman DOES NOT SAY IT DIRECTLY. Krugman does not say that the trade deficit caused the financial crisis. It would be nonsense. And Krugman usually doesn't talk nonsense. So stop making him say nonsense you've invented.
Bernanke doesn't even use the word "unemployment". Period.
Your analysis "if we weren't buying all this stuff from Asia, they wouldn't have all the savings, which flowed back in and..." is pure original research and it displays a basic ignorance of not just economic theory, but simple straightforward national income and bop accounting. It makes no sense logically. Honestly, if you don't know what you are talking about, then please stop talking. It becomes extremely irritating after awhile. Saying that the trade deficit caused a capital inflow is like saying that a 4 caused a 2 and a 2 to be added together. Or, if you like, like saying that two 2's caused a 4. It's not a logical statement.Volunteer Marek
Maybe try this Capital inflows contributed to the housing bubble - so sayeth Bernanke per several researchersFarcaster (talk) 08:28, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Bernanke: "What does explain the variability in house price appreciation across countries? In previous remarks I have pointed out that capital inflows from emerging markets to industrial countries can help to explain asset price appreciation and low long-term real interest rates in the countries receiving the funds--the so-called global savings glut hypothesis (Bernanke, 2005, 2007)." from Bernanke-See part just above the conclusion. See...I'm not making this up.Farcaster (talk) 08:49, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

More Men in Prime Working Ages Don't Have Jobs: WSJ[edit]

More Men in Prime Working Ages Don't Have Jobs, WSJ 02/06/14. Google title to bypass paywall.

"Technology and Globalization Transform Employment Amid Slow Economic Recovery." "More than one in six men between the ages of 25 and 54, prime working years, don't have jobs, a chronic condition that shows how technology and globalization are transforming jobs faster than many workers can adapt, economists say. David Meyer Wessel, Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary policy director, joins MoneyBeat."

Interesting, even-handed reporting, belongs here I think. Since I'm not a regular, IB I"ll let one of y'all find the best place for it. --Pete Tillman (talk) 18:08, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

US Employment History 2007-Present. Recovery can be Protracted[edit]

I agree with the overarching point here, however I'm confused by one of the references. The Bloomberg View article is predicated on an initial assertion that the US GDP per capita hadn't recovered to 2007 levels in 2012 (a reference the author asserts throughout the article).[1] However, all the data I'm able to locate indicates that the GDP per capita recovered quickly. Screenshot from the World Bank that shows that 2007 data point was exceeded in 2010. [2] --Orun Bhuiyan (talk)

The FRED database has this information. Here is a chart that shows the nominal GDP per capita recovered quickly, but real GDP per capita recovered only as of the end of 2013. You can change the period for the real GDP to quarterly to see where it is today; the nominal is annual data. FRED Chart-Real and Nominal per Capita GDPFarcaster (talk) 23:47, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
That makes sense, didn't think to compensate for inflation/deflation. Too bad that author's reference is a dead link. Thank you for explaining. --Orun Bhuiyan (talk)

"Jobs Created Or Lost" is Wrong[edit]

The first figure "United States Employment Statistics" erroneously labels the temporal changes in the unemployment rate as "Jobs created or lost". In fact, the changes until 2010 are largely due to people dropping out of the labor force, not due to job creation. The figure should be changed to only show the unemployment rate, or the unemployment and the employment rate.

I've uploaded a PNG from the FRED:

Note that the decrease in unemployment between 2010 and 2014 is not accompanied by an increase in employment; that's because it wasn't due to job creation but due to people dropping out the labor force. Whether an economy creates jobs or whether people are getting so frustrated that they are dropping out of the labor force makes a big difference, and unfortunately, we have been experiencing the latter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jcarnelian (talkcontribs) 09:06, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

The bars in the graph represent the change in the number of "All Employees: Total Non-Farm" (FRED "Payems" data series), commonly used to measure job creation. In FRED, you can use the "Civilian Labor Force" and "Civilian Employment" data series to see the trends driving the unemployment rate. Both have increased since December 2009, so your second paragraph is not correct.Farcaster (talk) 15:07, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
No, you cannot use changes in employment numbers to measure job growth. The data source itself tells you so:
Can I measure job growth with your data? No, the BLS comparative employment data cover employment rather than jobs. Employment and jobs are different concepts.


A second error with the graph is that it plots absolute changes in employment against unemployment rates. But the population size is not constant (since 2009, the US population has probably increased by about 10 million people, vs. less than half that in terms of job created, therefore actually decreasing overall employment rates). You need to plot, e.g., employment rates against unemployment rates.
The graph at the beginning of this article is wrong and misleading; either it should show unemployment rates alone, or compare unemployment and employment rates. Labels related to "jobs" or "job creation" need to be dropped altogether, since employment data and jobs data are different concepts.
Without a cleanup, the article will have to be flagged NPOV. Jcarnelian (talk) 06:33, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Your argument isn't clear to me. The FRED payems data series is the most commonly used statistic on private sector job creation out there (even if it is technically employment versus jobs; the two measures are highly correlated). Showing it along with the unemployment rate is perfectly reasonable. Flagging an article NPOV because it shows a commonly used measure of job creation and unemployment on a chart is pretty silly and would get reverted. If you'd like to create a better chart, please do so. FYI I didn't create the chart in question, just think its analytically sound. I'd need more information (and better math skills) to confirm or deny your hypothesis that improvement in the unemployment rate is primarily due to people dropping out of the labor force. Measured December 2009 to September 2014, civilian population is up 11.5 million (4.9%), employment is up 8.6 million (6.2%) and the labor force is up 2.8 million(1.8%). Measured from December 2007, these figures are 15.2 million (6.6%), 0.3 million (0.2%), and 1.9 million (1.3%). P.S. I have included your graph above early in the article and added a couple of more to help illustrate our discussion.Farcaster (talk) 15:37, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree with ""Jobs Created Or Lost" is Wrong" many baby boomers who are being laid off are choosing early retirement over finding a new job. There are not any more jobs being created, that is a myth. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:54, 22 October 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Sorry, U.S. Recoveries Really Aren't Different". Bloomberg View. Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 July 2014. Five years after the onset of the 2007 subprime financial crisis, U.S. gross domestic product per capita remains below its initial level. 
  2. ^ "GDP Per Capita Current US$ Graph Data". World Bank. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 

Technological Unemployment[edit]

Technological unemployment needs to be included here! This article is written from a classical economics standpoint, and quite frankly, classical economics has no relevance today wherein technological advances are rapidly marginalizing the U.S. work force. It is very naive to think that employment opportunities will increase in the future, which this article seems to suggest! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:51, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

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US workforce demographic backdrop and trend[edit]

Award winning analyst Brian Jones, quoted by Marketwatch in July 2016, noted a sea change since the late 1990s in the demographic backdrop against which nonfarm payroll numbers are viewed:

Over the past year, nonfarm payrolls have increased by just over 200,000 per month, a very good number. But job growth is actually much stronger than most people realize, because the working-age population is now growing much slower than it used to. Instead of taking 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a month to keep the unemployment rate steady like it used to, it now takes only about 80,000, he said.
Here’s the explanation: In the late 1990s, the working-age population of people between 15 and 65 was growing at about 200,000 per month, but this year it’s expected to increase by about 80,000 per month. By 2025, it will grow at less than 30,000 a month, if current trends continue. ...

July 13, 2016 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ocdcntx (talkcontribs) 17:25, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

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