Dynamist Blog


I'm on multiple deadlines, with little time to blog, but I do need to respond briefly to the blogosphere's reading of my NYT Magazine piece. That article is not designed to enter the ongoing, and quite partisan, debate about what the household versus payroll surveys tell us about current levels of employment.

My interest was in the question, Where will new jobs come from? A lot of non-economists are genuinely afraid that in the future there will be no jobs, or that there will be no jobs for people without large amounts of education--people like Denise Revely. From other research, I know of a number of aesthetic professions where jobs are growing rapidly. I found that in every such category the BLS counts were way under or, at best, obscured in categories dominated by losses in traditional manufacturing (e.g., paper mill workers vs. stone fabricators). Some of the undercount is accounted for by failing to count self-employed people, but not all of it. I don't, however, think that the BLS's survey errors are random and therefore unimportant if we want to understand where the economy is headed.

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