This week the U.S. Department of Labor will reveal the June employment report.
As with the past several months, a number of economists are predicting job growth in the 150,000 range. That would be better news than the 77,000 and 69,000 new jobs created in April and May, respectively, but, make no mistake, 150,000 new jobs ain’t good news.
The steady state of population growth means that in any given month about 350,000 young adults turn 18. They don’t immediately enter the labor force; they head off to college, trade school, the military, finish high school or the like.
They then leave these institutions in about the same rate they enter, and so the rough math suggests that on average the young labor force grows steadily and inexorably at 350,000 per month.
During this same time, workers are leaving the labor force. We retire mostly at a rate equivalent to almost 200,000 per month. Of course this happens at different times in our life.
Some of us leave because of a disability or death, some leave to go back to school and some to start families. So with some predictability the labor force should grow monthly by 350,000 minus 200,000, for a net of 150,000.