Business News

Where Are the Jobs?

There is a decades-long trend of prime working-age males, ages 25 to 54 falling away from the U.S. labor force. Their participation rate slid to 88.4% in August in a steady decline from 97.9% in 1954. Over the last 10 years, the slump was the steepest for those ages 25 to 34. About 7 million male Americans waste their best years of wealth formation not employed or even trying to find work. The portion of married-couple families with only the wife employed rose to 7.8% in 2013 from 5.7% in 1994. (Bloomberg)

But some things in the labor market never seem to change. The median American worker has been on the job for 4.6 years.  Job tenure stretches out considerably as people age. Nearly 50% of people between 20 to 24 have been in their current job for less than a year. For workers age 35 to 44, median tenure on the job is 5.2 years. For ages 45 to 54 the median is 7.9 years. And for workers older than 55, most workers have been on the job for more than 10 years, with more than a quarter having tenure longer than 20 years. (Wall Street Journal)

American companies have seldom spent more money than they are now buying back stock. The same can't be said for their executives. The ratio of buys to sells is near the lowest since 2000. A total of 7,181 insiders bought their own stock this year through Sept. 12 and 23,323 sold shares. At the same time, corporate repurchases reached $275 billion in the first half of the year, the second busiest since S&P Dow Jones Indices began tracking the data in 1998. (Bloomberg)

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