June 3, 2016
The drop in EPOPs in the latest job numbers is especially disturbing since it is among prime-age workers and it is for both women and men. The EPOP for prime age workers is still 2.5 percentage points below its pre-recession peak and 4.0 percentage points below the peaks reached in 2000. While many analysts have tried to explain this drop as a supply side story, it seems implausible that a very slight downward trend for men would happen to sharply accelerate in 2001, just as the upward trend for prime age women reverses to a downward trend, due to supply side factors. The only plausible explanation is that the demand for labor has weakened sharply. For more, see the latest Jobs Byte.