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August 29, 2007

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Lord Whorfin

Nice catch, Tom.

Forbes

Shorter version of TM:

Employment (full-time, year-round, male workers) peaks in 2000 (59.6 million), at the start of a recession. Least productive workers are first to be laid off, therefore median income continues to rise until 2003.

As economic recovery kicks in, employment rises from the (flat) 2001-2003 level of 58.7 million, as entry level (and other less productive) workers are hired, resulting in a decline in median income.

Seems like a straightforward explanation to me.

LindaK

Taking gross national data like this and using to arrive at the conclusion is useful to the Times because of its political leanings but not particularly informative to readers about the underlying trends. In addition to considering employment levels and GNP growth, you also have to segment the workforce. Younger workers starting out tend to be paid less than experienced ones. With a low unemployment rate, you have to assume that employers are hiring more lower skilled workers and paying them lower wages. It would also be useful to consider other secular trends, like the shift away from a manufacturing to a service economy, the number of part-time workers and the increasing number of women in the workforce.

Seixon

I think I read something about this in the Seattle Times today, and eh... Since when is it a bad thing that more people have full-time jobs?

The median income has gone up, but.... more people are working full-time. Gee, you think you earn more when you work full-time than when you work part-time???

I guess the optimal solution in TimesWorld is that everyone works part-time but draws a full-time wage. Although, I suspect if that was the case, the Times would complain that not everyone had a full-time job where they certainly could earn more!

We'll just have to wait until a Democrat is in the White House so we can stop hearing this nonsense.

hit and run

TM:
but in TimesWorld the glass is never half-full - sine they also reported a decrease in the median income of full time workers

Dang. Last week you presented the strain of learning means and medians, now you're throwing in "sine"?

But I don't get your angle here, sounds like a tangent.

Unless the story discusses the middle class working being forced to get family to cosine on loans or something...

kim

Just what the world needs, more geometry.
========================================

Walter

Math: Check. Economics: Check.

But where's the titillation?

On a tangential note, is it possible that Tom's mood (darker of late) is positively correlated with the fortunes (sinking of late) of his beloved Yankees?

While the Cardinals look to finish this season with roughly 80 wins again, it doesn't seem to inhibit their march towards a second World Championship. (They'd only be some 14 games back were they playing with the Red Sox and Yankees, but that's just the luck of the draw.)

Repeat, baby, repeat!

Walter

I guess the optimal solution in TimesWorld is that everyone works part-time but draws a full-time wage.

Even (especially?) in TimesWorld they have to take note of how well that system worked in France. One of the happier events of this century has been Sarkozy's election amid promises to rein in that approach.

sylvia

TM - "but in TimesWorld the glass is never half-full - sine they also reported a decrease in the median income of full time workers"

NYT- "Average wages for men and women actually declined for the third consecutive year.

Hey wait a minute - I thought we just learned last week not to confuse 'average' with the 'median'. Or was that 'mean'? I don't know, I need a refresher course already. If only they both didn't start with an 'm'..

Anyway, I don't know how true this "When a recession starts the least experienced (or more specifically, the least productive) workers will be sacked" is. I have personal experience among friends and family that this is not true. I think mid-level managers are just as likely to be canned because they have higher salaries and usually do less.

I would think if we took a survey, my guess would be that it averages out between higher and lower. After all, it seems to me we have been in perpetual need of secretaries, nurses, retail workers for years now, recession or not. It's the professional jobs at the large/mid companies that seem to go up and down a lot in the classified ads.

So I tend to believe the Times. Inflation in terms of housing and cost of living has gone up. And the salaries are the same, if not less.

sylvia

And by the way, this whole inflated housing cost scheme is a pyramid scheme that is bound to fail soon. It's survived so far because we have enough people using the gains from their existing homes to finance the purchases of their and their childrens' new homes, but that will run out at some point. Don't believe the experts on the business shows who tell you that it won't, as many of them are stock holders and real estate investors who don't want to talk the market down. I remember similar 'rah rah' talk about the internet companies when to my untrained stock mind I thought I probably didn't get why it wasn't ridiculous to put all your money in companies that didn't seem to do much of anything that anyone needed. It's all about common sense.

hit and run

TM:
I guess the optimal solution in TimesWorld is that everyone works part-time but draws a full-time wage.

and

but in TimesWorld the glass is never half-full - sine they also reported a decrease in the median income of full time workers


TimesWorld, where the work is part-time, the pay is full-time, the glass is half-empty, the effort is half-assed.

hit and run

There's also something to be done with the following, since we like means and medians here

NYT...crashing into the median...wheels coming off....head-on collision...with reality.

hit and run

Walter:
On a tangential note, is it possible that Tom's mood (darker of late) is positively correlated with the fortunes (sinking of late) of his beloved Yankees?


Will we get stories of ponies and sunflowers today - since the Yankees have now taken two from the Red Sox?

kim

Edwards whinnied and bucked and trampled the sunflowers.
=============================

sylvia

"When a recession starts the least experienced (or more specifically, the least productive) workers will be sacked"

No actually more specifically, the one that kisses the boss's ass the least will be sacked. First of all, like in the movie Office Space, a problem with many companies is the employees not having enough work to do. In fact that I would hazard a guess that this is more likely in a recession, where business drops off. And again from anecdotal evidence, I know this to be often true. I don't know how some employees can be more productive at doing nothing than other people. Also, from what I've seen, usually whole departments are sacked at once - as they are reorganized into other departments. This includes both high and lower salary workers, new and old workers.

Also, TM, you say that the lowest paid people are sacked most often, however a company is organized like a pyramid, with more lower paid workers than higher paid workers. Of course more lower paid workers will more likely be sacked, because there are more of them to begin with. But is there any evidence that the proportionality of sacking among high and low is any different, and changes the composition of the workforce - I haven't seen any.

No this idea of the "least productive" workers is actually pretty insulting, and part of the myth that many Republican business types use to console themselves, ala Roger and Me. It almost makes me want to rent that movie again, to remind me of back in the days when I thought Michael Moore was funny.

Jane

H&R I'd like to think that it is indeed the Yankees, so I won't mention they have beaten the Red Sox two games in a row. Please don't tell anyone.

steve sturm

The NYT does see the glass as half-full... but only during Democratic Administrations,

kim

Where are Cloyd Boyer's stats?
==============================

kim

Trolling for W or T, you see.
=================

Jane

Boy I just heard the police tape of Craig's arrest. Coupled with the report of the officer's prior conduct, I believe Craig.

Ralph L

Jane, Craig's copper was the supervisor of the two who tased the bicyclist.

I've been rear-ended twice (in vehicles, and by women) and both times the cops screwed up the report. The second time I finally called Internal Affairs after two visits and several unreturned phone calls. That got it fixed in a couple of hours.

Jane

Ralph,

I know, I posted the link. A long time ago I did some pro bono criminal work, and boy that tape was reminiscent of some bad stuff.

Forbes

Shorter version of Sylvia:

"I once thought Michael Moore was funny, the movie Office Space is an accurate portrayal (rather than satire)--and I still have no idea what I'm talking about, but have I got stories to tell"

If the "idea" of least productive workers is insulting, what does the actual existence of workers who are less productive than others mean?

Here's a hint: Productive means profitable.

Remember, we're not living in Lake Wobegone.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Okay, I've heard the tape now, and I agree with Jane. The cop comes across very badly, and the bit about him seeing a wedding ring--which was on Craig's left hand--doesn't seem plausible.

I think Craig could get his plea withdrawn just by pointing out that the cop encouraged him to 'anonymously' agree to pay a fine, and go on his way.

Some Republicans look very foolish for jumping to conclusions about what happened.

Jane

I agree Patrick. But it's too late. The right is haunted by Foley, spineless as it is. We should throw all the bums out, except Tom Coburn because of his porkbusting stance.

Ralph L

If Craig was peeping on & off for 2 minutes, he must have seen something to make him believe the cop wanted to play.

Jane, careful with "stance." It's now a loaded word (pork and busted already were).

hit and run

Swish, swish, swish.

Still five games back, but still...

I want a blog about ponies.

And daffodils.

And Tickle Me Elmos.

Jane

Hit,

Was that today, or yesterday? If it was yesterday, you are a cad for rubbing it in.

hit and run

Jane:
Was that today, or yesterday? If it was yesterday, you are a cad for rubbing it in.

Today. Yanks completed the 3 game sweep.

Tue 8/28 @NYY 5, BOS 3
Wed 8/29 @NYY 4, BOS 3
>Thu 8/30 @NYY 5, BOS 0

But if you want, I can still rub it in.

Best part...

Quotable: "Middle of the game you've got the fashion police. This is incredible." -- Terry Francona, on being called out of the dugout Wednesday so an MLB security official could make sure he was wearing his uniform top under his usual Boston pullover jacket.

Just remember, starting Monday:

A really old custom eschewed wearing white after Labor Day. The custom is rooted in nothing more than popular fashion etiquette.[1] In actuality, the etiquette originally stated that white shoes were the taboo while white or "winter white" clothes were acceptable

BUT!!!

"Fashion magazines are jumping on this growing trend, calling people who 'dare' to wear white after Labor Day innovative, creative, and bold. Slowly but surely, white is beginning to break free from its box, and is becoming acceptable to wear whenever one pleases.

This is especially good news for the Sox, since they host the Yanks Sept 14-16 in Boston, and the home team traditionally wears white uniforms.

Romney also benefits as the one true Sox fan in the presidential race, and Edwards because he is a catty fashion critic who is surely innovative, creative and bold!

Though one wonders if it may help Clinton and Giuliani, since it appears the Yanks may actually win the games.

Who knows!

hit and run

My apologies to Governor Richardson, who should be mentioned prominently.

He claims to be both a Yankees fan and a Red Sox fan, in one interview on a nationally televised interview, ensuring he would alienate both teams' baseball fans.

Jane

Shit!

hit and run

And big question, does long time fan of the Chicago White Sox, especially when they won the world series in 05, look at the standings to find them in the cellar, switch teams during this season to support the first place Cubs?????

----
heh, that's the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines, the triple A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The Chicago Cubs are in first place, the Iowa Cubs in second....

But still!

sylvia

"If the "idea" of least productive workers is insulting, what does the actual existence of workers who are less productive than others mean?"

Look Forbes/Troll, I didn't deny the existence of any unproductive workers, I deny that there is any evidence that any large amount of non-productive workers are fired in a recession. I think mainly the non-productive "departments" or "positions" are fired in a recession - which is usually a managerial/leadership consequence of not bringing in enough business or not organizing a department efficiently. But come to think of it, if the workers were really so unproductive beforehand, trust me, in this country, they still wouldn't have been employees at that company. So get out in the real world Forbes and stop believing the myths. A little real life corporate experience might help you put things in perspective.

Rick Ballard

"A little real life corporate experience might help you put things in perspective."

We really need to find a smarter sack of hammers.

garytheyoung
On a tangential note, is it possible that Tom's mood (darker of late) is positively correlated with the fortunes (sinking of late) of his beloved Yankees?

Say what?? The Yanks just swept the Bosox and with Seattle's loss tonight are a full game ahead in the wild card race. The Mariners come into New York next week and we all know how badly they play on the road. It's a bit of bitter fruit for Yankees fans to be playing for the wild card slot, but you take what you get.

Walter

Gary,

I take full credit for the Yankees' change in fortune, as they were three games further back in the standings at the time I composed that comment.

But I don't think we'll see daffodils and ponies 'til they lead the division. (Or clinch the pennant.) In either case, should a .500 team win the Series twice in a row, I'll expect to be dodging fragments of George Will's gnashed teeth--Tom is the least of our worries.

Walter

I've been advocating Mr. Richardson to my non-loony friends who'll vote in the Democratic primaries (mostly because of his libertarian stance on drug policy, but also because he has the best resume in the race). [My loonier Democratic friends get the Kucinich "but he's the only one who presents a clear choice between the parties" recommendation.]

But now I'm less certain about his suitability for anything short of a straight jacket. From an otherwise odd article linked from the Frolic:

It’s simple logic. The Yankees and Red Sox hate each other, or at the very least, Yankees and Red Sox fans hate each other.[1]

Please do not try this. A Red Sox fan and a Yankee fan in the same body is a paradox of universe-obliterating proportions. Do you really want to be responsible for the end of all existence? [emphasis added]

And the footnote:

[1] To non-fans, this may seem peculiar. It isn’t. I cannot fully describe the depth of this animosity, but imagine right-wing Israeli settlers and Palestinian terrorists staring each other down on a baseball field. That comes close.

Jane

I cannot fully describe the depth of this animosity, but imagine right-wing Israeli settlers and Palestinian terrorists staring each other down on a baseball field. That comes close.

That pretty much nails it. I was leaving the gym yesterday when a mother with her two-year old were walking in. The two-year old had on a yankees uniform. It was all I could do to not warn them off. On second thought, I probably should have reported the mother to DSS for putting her child at such risk.

hit and run

Well, when Geraghty mocked Richardson for his both a Red Sox and a Yankees fan - you will note that he compared it to the Shia-Sunni divide.

I tried, oh Lord I tried, to get him to pick sides. Are Red Sox fans Sunni and Yankee fans Shia? Or vice versa.

I tried to get Dean Barnett to weigh in as well. Repeatedly.

THAT would have made the best blog war EVUH!

And I am nothing if I am not about trying to stoke Yankee-Red Sox fan conflict...

Forbes

Even shorter Sylvia:

I deny the existence of the Census Bureau report that is the subject of this thread. Do not confuse me with facts, or the analysis thereof, that are inconvenient to my opinions.

Cheers.

Steve

Great site!

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Steve

Great site!

Would you consider a Link Exchange with The Internet Radio Network? At the IRN you can listen to over 29 of America's top Talk Shows via FREE STREAMING AUDIO!

http://netradionetwork.com

bubarooni

least productive employees:

they are everywhere!

i have worked the floor in a union factory (where no one was productive)

i have worked the floor in a non-union factory.

i now head the IT department for a small company.

whenever you are told to get rid of a couple of people in your area, you always get rid of the least capable and keep the best.

we would often can the least capable (bad work ethic, pissy attitude, inanely inept and even the criminally stinky) at the bottom of the rung, and demote skilled workers to those positions during lean times just to keep them on the payroll in the hopes they wouldn't go elsewhere if laid off. if someone has 17 years seniority they'll do it just to stay on.

then when the orders start pickingup, you move your survivors back to their old slots, hire some new people to take those now open spots and the process starts anew. with a little luck you'll get a couple of keepers in the new group.

my significant other works management in retail. since retail is pretty near the bottom of the barrel, when the economy is great she has to take whatever walks thru the door. when the economy is down she gets tons of great employees. care to guess what happens to the dross she had to hire when the economy was good?

it ain't rocket science.

Steve

Great site, keep it up!

Would you consider a Link Exchange with The Internet Radio Network?? At the IRN you can listen for free to over 30 of America's top Talk Shows via FREE STREAMING AUDIO!

http://netradionetwork.com

Steve

Great site, keep it up!

Would you consider a Link Exchange with The Internet Radio Network?? At the IRN you can listen for free to over 30 of America's top Talk Shows via FREE STREAMING AUDIO!

http://netradionetwork.com

Rocco

Remember when...

sylvia

First of all Bubarooni I think unions have rules about layoff, and it is seniority last - not the least productive. As to non-union factories, not too many of those around nowadays, but I would imagine seniority rules in those as well. But again, my point was, since TM is so into stats, that there are more non-senior workers to begin with, so of course more non-senior workers are more likely to go, and probably a few managers too - so where's the evidence it changes the existing mix?

And the areas you are talking about such as retail and factories are very low-skilled industries, where you have a lot of people performing the same function. For slightly higher skilled organiations, such as corporations, it's not so easy to just pick and choose the least productive worker, as that worker might have a specific essential function, and to remove that worker means training another person for that position which is a hassle. Thats' why those types of companies usually lay off by reorganizing departments, so as to keep all functions covered. So I think the issue is a lot more complex than TM wants to think.

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