The hope of faster economic growth is a major factor behind the upturn in markets since the November election, but where will an expanding economy find the workers it needs? If it cannot find them, then any stimulus from tax cuts, regulatory reform, or infrastructure spending risks turning into inflation rather than healthy growth.
Some observers place their hopes on tapping the reserve of workers who have left the labor force. The percentage of the population who participate in the labor force has fallen from its peak of around 67 percent in the 1990s to about 63 percent today. Just how likely are those labor-force dropouts will return to work? We can get an idea by looking at data on transition rates, by which we mean the probabilities that a non-employed worker in any labor-force category will find a job in the next month.>>>
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