Finally, there's this chart, which is the one that keeps me up at night
After improvement in the early part of 2010, the employment rate of the population (that is, the number of employed as a percentage of the non-institutional adult population) has been deteriorating once again. I noted this last month (and have been highlighting it since it turned back down in the summer) as it is the most-important statistic in the series.
As I've repeatedly explained we cannot keep funding government expenditures via taxation unless this turns upward. We are instead, in this alleged "recovery", threatening the lows.
There is in fact no "recovery" - all we're doing and all we've been doing is putting our economy on the government Credit Card, but these machinations are failing to produce a response in the private economy that will be able to lift tax revenues and ultimately permit reduction in the deficit spending via "growth."
We have spent more than two years now on a failed policy, and despite the alleged "ordinary lag" that these policy moves have, which has been the excuse of Bernanke and other policy makers to explain away why there was no immediate response, the six month to one year lag time they usually cite has now been exceeded by more than twice.
It is imperative that we change course - these policies have in fact failed and we are now tightening the flat spin with continued attempts to do that which has proved to not work.