Number Of Workers Aged 25-54 Back To April 1997 Levels
When people think of the conventional battery of options the BLS applies to fudge the monthly payrolls number, the labor force participation is the first thing that comes mind: after all the thesis is that old workers are increasingly dropping out of the labor force and retiring. Nothing could be further from the truth as can be seen in this chart of workers aged 55-69, i.e. the prime retirement age. But perhaps a far more important secular issue is the complete lack of pickup in the prime worker demographic, those aged 25-54, which in November dropped by 400k to 94 MM. This is a level first breached in April 1997, in other words in the past 15 years not a single incremental job has been gained in this most productive and lucrative of age groups!
Furthermore, there is absolutely no demographic reason why America, which has a substantial natural growth rate across all demographics, should not see more workers from the younger age cohorts enter this age group. We are, however, confident one will promptly be discovered as this chart becomes prevalent in the mainstream media.
And, as a tangent, workers aged 55 and Over:
Source: St. Louis Fed