The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, in its Economic Letter entitled “What Is the New Normal Unemployment Rate?” states:
“Recent labor markets developments, including mismatches in the skills of workers and jobs, extended unemployment benefits, and very high rates of long-term joblessness, may be impeding the return to “normal” unemployment rates of around 5%. An examination of alternative measures of labor market conditions suggests that the “normal” unemployment rate may have risen as much as 1.7 percentage points to about 6.7%, although much of this increase is likely to prove temporary. Even with such an increase, sizable labor market slack is expected to persist for years.”
Their conclusion? “As the recovery proceeds, we should develop a clearer picture of the new normal rate of unemployment.”
The question becomes, what happens to that ‘extra’ 1.7% of US population? Are they unjustifiably unemployed, if we assume that 5% is truly normal for a super-rich society like our own? Or is this just capitalism and tough luck?
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