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08/07/2015

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Sam Taylor

Dave,

The labour force participation rate is somewhat skewed by the changing demographics of the US. There's a lot of people retiring as they get older. Similarly the very high rates of employment in the late 90's also probably owe something to demographic effects, as that was when most of the baby boomers were going to be in their prime employment years. There's a discussion of these trends here: http://qz.com/286213/the-chart-obama-haters-love-most-and-the-truth-behind-it/

Of course, this is not to say that the crisis wasn't awful and hurt a lot of people, but I think the U6 rate paints a more useful picture: ( https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/U6RATE/ ) as it's based on things like unemployment claims, which are a good indicator that someone is in need.

As for the interest rate, well, at some point one would hope that those in power would realise that montary policy maybe ain't all that (the last 5 years have taught us this), and that central bankers alone can't magically steer the world on the right course, whatever that might be.

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