No-Growth Nation

I no longer pay any attention to the headline unemployement rate, which is presently reported at 8.1 percent for U3. But it is relatively meaningless due to the statistical shenanigans that are being played with the labor force participation rate, as various commentators are now noting. For me, the more important and less easily gamed statistic is the EPR, or Employment-Population Ratio, which has remained essentially flat, between 58.5 and 58.2 percent, since October 2009. Needless to say, this is not indicative of a growing economy, since it reflects a ratio not seen in the USA since the recession of the early 1980s. One wonders how low the EPR has to fall before people begin to connect their unemployment to the 60 million population increase since 1990 – more than the entire population of the UK – most of which is the result of the post-1986 immigration wave.

Suffice it to say that the present economic depression will eventually kill the claim that immigration is good for the economy as dead as the 1970s recession killed the Keynesian claim that it was impossible to simultaneously have inflation and unemployment.