Thursday, August 11, 2005

More Bad Economics on the Participation Rate

Although I have to give them credit for acknowledging that much of the labor trouble has been among teens, as I previously discussed here, MSNBC still manages to get their facts wrong in its article "Teens seeking work face fierce competition".

“Teens are having a much harder time getting work,” said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. “Not just in summer but year-round. … That is partly a new phenomenon. There is something structural going on in the labor market that has made it a lot harder for kids to find work.”

Younger workers always suffer first when the job market turns south in a recession, and the latest business cycle was no exception. But after past recessions, in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, teen employment snapped back quickly. Not so this time, said Sum.

No, actually it never "snapped back quickly", teenage participation in the labor market has been going consistently downhill for 30 years. Even in the dotcom boom of the 90s it never came close to its 1980's high. Where do these so called "experts" come up with this stuff?