A Decade of Change in the USA (2003-2013)

Civilian Workforce

The workforce at the start of 2014 is downright paltry compared to the past.

Out of 247 million civilians in 2013:

  • 102 million (41.5%) are Not Working
  • 144 million (58.5%) are Employed

Let's repeat: 102 million people are Not Working (retired, in school, unemployed, etc.).

The 3.8% increase (37.7% to 41.5%) from 2003-2013 of people NOT WORKING is equivalent to 8.4 million more.

Picture all the people that live in the State Capitals of the top 22 most populated states combined (per the 2010 Census). That's 8.4 million people.

The first thing one assumes is maybe a lot more people have RETIRED, right? So let's look at the age demographics of the EMPLOYED.

Did you spot the changes between 2003 and 2013? We tried hard to fool you in green (lol).

Percentage-wise, more people aged 55 and older are EMPLOYED in 2013. The combined brackets of 55 to 65 and 65+ jumped from 15.4% in 2003 to almost 22% in 2013. This is not a sign of more people retiring!

Correspondingly, less people in the bread and butter age bracket of 25-54 are NOT WORKING in 2013, despite the Civilian Population increasing by 26 million people.

The bottomline is our economy is chock-full of people who need and want to work. Calling all businesses and organizations, PLEASE HIRE MORE PEOPLE IN 2014! Quit being so picky, so greedy, so profit oriented, and so offshored. Have a board meeting and propose giving back to the American society by hiring more, paying more, and bringing jobs, operations and investments back home.

Energy Generation

The biggest shifts in energy generation from 2003 to 2013 are:

  • Less Coal (50% to 38%)
  • More Natural Gas (16% to 27%)
  • More Wind (.28% to 4%)

Environmental implications

Less air polution from coal. More water polution from fracking gas with fricking chemicals. Breathe it or drink it? Or wait for it to run out?

Kudos to renewable Wind generators! So sorry Solar remains the tinest fraction of overall energy.

With the exception of Hydroelectric, renewables are a small percentage of energy generation in the USA.

Currency in Circulation

There's a sale on wheelbarrels you know. Lol... The amount of currency has risen a whopping 72% between January 2004 and January 2014. Wonder who's hoarding it?

Strange story here. When compiling the data in early January 2014 for the above chart from the Federal Reserve H.4.1 reports (examples here: http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/), the report had a different format. In the area where "Currency in Circulation" was located, the line on the report read something like this:

Liabilities and Capital: Other Factors Draining Reserve Balances: Currency in circulation

First thing that came to mind was how bankster it was for the Federal Reserve to use the lingo "Factors Draining Reserve Balances." Demeaning words for how cash, which so many use to live on, is "draining" the banks of their precious reserves. Others must have thought the same, because today when you view the online H.4.1 reports (only a month later) this strange wording is gone! The section header had been changed to "Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of Depository Institutions" on all the reports.

Consumer Prices

Although it feels like the price of everything has doubled over the last decade, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics shares a trove of data on Consumer Prices at http://www.bls.gov/data/.

We'll spotlight a couple of favorites in the Food, Gas, and Household Fuel categories using Excel 2013 PowerView for the charts below.

If you are one of the 99% partaking in some TV football and food, a 12-pack of beer along with bologna and cheese sandwiches, complimented by a nice size bag of chips and a package of chocolate chip cookies will run you $29.85 these days. That's a 31% increase over the $22.77 it would have cost in 2003.

Hard to believe the price of a gallon of regular gas was $1.65 back in 2003. The 116% price increase to $3.57 per gallon today feels like a giant ripoff.

The cost of electricity is up 38% from 2003 to 2013. But the price of household gas is back down to the 2004 price level after rising substantially in 2008. Guess we can thank the extraction frackers for that, as gas is more abundant now.

To be continued in the future, maybe...