Now, I’m an optimistic guy… and there are plenty of good news stories around the world. But just looking at the numbers, it’s clear that there is a major disconnect between sentiment and reality.
On one hand, western governments and mainstream media sources tell people that their economies are recovering and moving forward. Sentiment is high, confidence is growing. Unfortunately the data show a completely different story:
- In the US, while the official unemployment rate is falling, a much better indication of the labor market is the Labor Force Participation Rate– the percentage of people within a society who are engaged in the work force.It rose steadily for decades after World War II as more and more women entered the work force, peaking in the late 1990s/early 2000s. It has been in terminal decline for the past ten years, having now reached the same level as from the late 1970s.