That is 5% of our entire labor force missing in action. I suppose to some extent you can consider it a good thing because, in theory, if you filled all those jobs, then our GDP should be at least 5% better than it is now. Of course, it’s hard to fill 8.8M jobs when we have skills mis-matches due to poor education and skills re-training and, of course, we now refuse to let new people into the country – even when there are plenty of employers who desperately need workers.
As you can see from the chart – we aren’t letting anyone into the country and we aren’t making any new citizens on our own so of course companies can’t find workers. At the same time, our Government asks both US and Foreign companies to build more factories in the US and they answer – with what staff? You can’t even find the construction workers to build the factories you won’t be able to staff – what idiots!
Our own US Birth Rate has been in steep decline sine the Financial Crisis of 2008 and now most young people think the World is going to end in the near future as they witness an obvious Environmental Crisis that not only don’t they see Politicians or Business Leaders doing anything about but they also feel there’s nothing they can do since their votes don’t seem to count either. That’s one of those side benefits of all this “Voter Fraud” BS – it makes young people on both sides lose faith in Democracy.
The Birth Rate is births per 1,000 women (of birthing age) and there are 29 prime years for giving birth (including 15-18, which is generally frowned upon) and so, in order to have 2 children to replace the (usually) couples, that group needs to have 2 children each (2,000) divided by 29 years is 68.96 children per 1,000 women per year to maintain the population.
We haven’t been doing that since 2007. Some of the population decline is offset by advances in medicine but, unfortunately, that skews population more towards the elderly – and that causes a whole new set of problems we’re all well-aware of, right?
So, when we see that we’re only having 55 births per 1,000 people, that’s 14 (20%) less than we should be having and that’s a HUGE problem for the country. 3.4M people died in the US in 2021 – about 1% of our population and we just about kept even replacing them but that is not enough people to fuel ANY economic growth so the number of job openings has kept growing, year after year.
8:30 Update: 187,000 more jobs were created in August and that’s on the low end of our predicted range and July has been revised down from 187,000 to 157,000 so a nice net decrease that should help the Fed stay calm. Unemployment went up from 3.5% to 3.8% so, ideally, inflation-driving wage pressures may ease off but we are MILES away from putting a dent in 8.8M unfilled job openings.
The markets are moving up ahead of the bell but I can’t imagine why – 187,000 jobs is pretty much our break-even rate – it’s not doing a thing to ease off on the 8.8M shortage and that means the Fed still has a lot of work to do. Surely SOME traders understand that – but maybe those traders are already on holiday.
It’s still all low-volume BS this week but we can’t just stay in fantasy land, denying the truth the data is telling us. Monday is a holiday and Tuesday will be like a Monday and then it’s Wednesday already and we have PMI and ISM Services along with the Beige Book and Thursday we’ll have Productivity and Friday is Consumer Credit.
Until then, have a wonderful holiday weekend,