As regular readers are no doubt aware, we have cast an incredulous eye towards the supposedly "robust" US labor market.
In addition to lackluster wage growth for 83% of America's workforce, we've also highlighted the tumbling labor force participation rate, on the way to contrasting the record number of people not in the labor force with an official unemployment figure that would seem to indicate almost no slack in the market.
To explain this apparent paradox, we documented the story of America's vanishing worker, noting that the reason America's labor metrics have devolved to such a Schrodingerian state in which the US labor market is both alive and dead, depending on whose propaganda one observes, is that many (former) employees have been forced to move away, retire or give up on finding a job. As a result, the unemployment rate has fallen even as the jobless are no closer to being able to provide for their families.
Whatever one wishes to believe about the veracity of BLS statistics, one thing is certain: For some US states, the ill effects of the crisis on employment still linger some seven years later.
As the following map shows, 13 states are still struggling to regain pre-crisis employment levels: