America’s (Un)Employment Experience: Diversity in the Details

The nation has a well-publicized and politicized unemployment problem. With nearly 10 percent of the labor force unable to find work, the headlines and party lines would suggest that employers are not comfortable increasing their workforce under the shadow of slow top-line revenue expectations, thanks to weak demand. Indeed, our growth outlook drops off substantially in the second half of 2010. … The nation has a well-publicized and politicized unemployment problem. With nearly 10 percent of the labor force unable to find work, the headlines and party lines would suggest that employers are not comfortable increasing their workforce under the shadow of slow top-line revenue expectations, thanks to weak demand. Indeed, our growth outlook drops off substantially in the second half of 2010. Persistently high unemployment limits consumption owing to weak personal income growth, which we expect to slow over the second half, thus consumers provide very little support to economic growth over the remainder of 2010. Yet, the unemployment problem is even more varied and complex than headlines would imply. Three elements—age, gender and education—provide the rich texture of the employment experience. Looking beneath the headlines shows a mixed picture as these characteristics impact the participation rate and unemployment rate of the individual, and have broader implications for credit quality, housing and economic growth. Thank you for your interest in Wells Fargo’s Economic Commentary by email. You are receiving this message because you have requested Economic Commentary information and updates sent via email. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please click on the following link to access the Economic Commentary by email registration page: http://www.wellsfargo.com/economicsemail.

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