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Comment Re:"Middle class" (Score 1) 443

I'll chalk this up as a poor interpretation of what constitutes 'middle class.' Most of the jobs automation would impact might creep into the low end of that range, but not very many.

The vast majority of software development jobs are making software that fundamentally does CRUD operations at the behest some business logic.

We've already "automated" the CRUD part in the form of libraries that make that trivial. A general-purpose AI could handle the business logic.

Or is "software developer" not supposed to be 'middle class' anymore?

Comment Re:huh (Score 2) 443

if everyone suddenly had a Star Trek replicator, do you think the entire world economy would grind to a sudden halt? No, it wouldn't.

It would not grind to a halt because............?

What jobs do you think can not be automated? And since those currently pay better than the more "mundane" jobs, why isn't everyone already doing them?

Comment They don't have to completely program themselves (Score 1) 443

Currently, I'm the only person writing any code for my project.

20 years ago when I started my career, this project would take around 20-30 people to code. I'm not 20-30x better than they are. Instead, a whole lot of what I need is "automated". I don't have to write a network stack. I don't have to write a server or client. I don't have to serialize/deserialize the messages between the services. I don't have to write the deployment, monitoring and automatic recovery software. I don't have to write most of the testing code. And so on.

It's going to continue to get easier. So about the time I'm old enough to think about retirement, I'll probably be doing the work of 50-70 1990s-era programmers. If I'm still needed.

A near drag-and-drop "programming" interface for a typical business CRUD application would not be all that hard to do today, except for handling all the day-to-day edge cases. Add in a general-purpose AI, and suddenly you can handle those edge cases too.

And then the "programming" will be done by a relatively unskilled business analyst, except for the very, very, very few computer scientists working with AIs to produce the next version of the framework.

Comment Re:Average income down, fewer people working (Score 1) 504

Arguing about long-term economic trends like incomes going up or down requires a long-term context

Except you're the one who switched to a long-term context when your previous argument wasn't going so well. TFA is talking about a month-to-month report. That's inherently a short-term context.

How much inflation do you suppose happened--or was even measured--between October and November?

November's numbers aren't out out. Here's September 2016 to October 2016. While that's CPI and not a percentage, you'll note it is going up, not down. So a drop in wages would mean a reduction in purchasing power.....if that chart was the same months. We'll be able to make a new chart in a week or so.

For that matter, with holiday sales, wouldn't inflation over a few weeks be negative, if you picked the right weeks?

Consumer goods are only a part of the CPI "basket". There's lots of other things that also fluctuate wildly - food, gasoline, whatever you use for heating, and so on.

It's unreasonable to assume an economics discussion about the general state of the US economy is a short-term discussion

When the story is about the change between October and November, it's inherently a short-term discussion.

If the discussion were meant to be in a one-month total context, then OP and GP are just morons [...] have some sort of pathological mental illness and exhibit defense mechanisms that look an awful lot like, but are distinct from, schizophrenia. wrote the grandparent post.

Comment Re: Surprised (Score 1) 504

The "official state statistics" are actually the bullshit here. There's lots of arcane rules about who can get unemployment benefits and who can stay on them, as well as wildly different policies in each state. As a result, "number of people receiving unemployment checks" has very little to do with the number of people unemployed.

And remember, unemployed people have plenty of time to fill out government surveys.

Comment Re:Meanwhile, back in the real economy... (Score 1) 504

hat ratio is 59.7% at the moment, which is barely one percentage point above the lows it hit in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. The whole "economic recovery" and the "unemployment rate" which has gone from 8-9% down to 4.9% is an illusion. The real economy and real employment situation still suck.

Here's the employment/population ratio going back several decades. Please provide the statistics showing the US economy was terrible in the 1950s and 1960s, when the employment/population ratio was significantly lower than it is today.

People fall into this category when their unemployment benefits run out, but they're still unemployed.

This is wrong. Unemployment benefits have nothing to do with unemployment statistics. Unemployment statistics are created by surveys, not by counting people receiving unemployment benefits. U3 (the unemployment number in headlines) includes plenty of people who do not get unemployment benefits. Such as contract employees who have reached the end of their contract and people who got fired.

If you're really worried about people being left out, you can use U6. U6 includes people in U3, as well as people who are currently employed but want to work more hours, as well as people not actively looking for work but would take a job if they could find one.

Actually, I think an even more interesting metric would throw kids into the equation. They need to be supported too. In that case, we've got a country where ~152 million people are supporting 320 million people, so the unemployment rate is really 52.5%

So how long should newborns wait before taking their first job? Do they have to leave the hospital first? 'Cause the statistic you just came up with implies they should get a job about the same time their umbilical cord is cut.

Comment Re:Shadowstats gives the true number: 23% (Score 2) 504

Guess what? BLS doesn't only count U3. In fact, they have a statistic called U6 which covers the people you are claiming BLS ignores. The Shadowstats article you linked even talks about U6, so it's kinda odd you forgot about it when making your post.

Here's U6.

And the owners of Shadowstats would like to thank you for your efforts at generating more subscribers to their website.

Comment Re:95.1 Million Americans Not In The Labor Force (Score 3, Informative) 504

Nope. There are 6 unemployment statistics. The one that shows up in newspaper headlines is U3. U6 covers people who would take a job if they could find one, or want to work more hours than they already are. Here's U6. You'll note it is also down.

To get a better idea of just how misleading that headline from Zerohedge is, here's the employment/population ratio for the last few decades. That is down from it's peak, but well above where it was during the economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s. You'll also note we have never gotten remotely close to 100%, yet the breathless story from Zerohedge implies something is wrong with less than 100%.

There are lots of reasons someone does not have a paid job. Some of the most common are retirement, going to school, and caring for a loved one. And they are all "not in the labor force".

Comment Re:WRONG (Score 2) 504

But the reality is total number of workers no longer in the work force, which is 95,055,000. Really, 50% unemployment?

Employment/population ratio does not work like you are trying to claim. Because lots of people do not work because they don't want to and do not have to. Students, taking care of loved ones, independently wealthy, retired, disabled, etc.

Here's the employment/population ratio for the last several decades. You note it never got remotely close to 100%, even during economic booms.

Comment Re: Surprised (Score 1) 504

For example, here in Michigan, for the six months that you're collecting unemployment payments, you count as unemployed. When that six months is over, they cut you off and remove you from the 'unemployed' category

This is wrong. The unemployment statistics are not connected at all to unemployment benefits.

Unemployment statistics are created from surveying the population. Not just counting people receiving unemployment benefits. That is how BLS creates multiple unemployment statistics - they have to find out why someone is not employed to produce the statistics.

This table gives a quick-and-dirty synopsis of U1 through U6. Google can give you plenty more detail.

During your slightly-over-a-year job search, you would have been counted in U2 and U3, then U1 and U3, then depending on what was going on you may have stayed in U3 or moved to U4.

Comment Re:OK, now pull the other one (Score 1) 504

Due to that demographics shift, the employment vs population ratio was less accurate then, compared to now.

You are claiming:
(employed 16-64 year olds) / (total 16-64 year olds)
was less accurate. Simple math has not changed that much since the 1950s.

But yeah, if you can determine for sure who is choosing to stay out of the labor force and make themselves unavailable in the labor force, not due to lack of jobs or lack of income, but because they simply choose not to work, then you would be much better off comparing employment vs only the population that is available for work.

That's called U6. (Or U4 depending on exactly what set of people you want to consider)

The problem with your example of your wife is you pointed out income. What if a job comes along with a great salary? Will she take it... effectively increasing the labor force pool?

It doesn't particularly matter. The labor pool is constantly shifting. The overall population is growing. People retire. People turn 16. People die. People quit to take care of a loved one, and other people get a job after that loved one no longer needs care. The "labor pool" is not remotely close to being constant.

Comment Re:Average income down, fewer people working (Score 1) 504

You know, in 1983, cell phones became commercially available

Average income has gone up since 1983. It has gone down since October 2016.

Oh, wait, no. It turns out food dropped from 40% of the average family's income in 1900 to 33% in 1950, 15% in 1990, and under 12% in 2015

Ok, now do the same thing with gasoline.

We spend more on entertainment, we buy more and better medical care, and we buy higher-quality goods with more complex parts and lots of stuff that we couldn't have dreamed of in 1995. Yes our damned buying power has gone up.

And if the discussion was about the time period you are talking about, that might be relevant.

But at the moment, we're talking about the differences between October 2016 and November 2016.

Comment Re:Surprised (Score 5, Insightful) 504

That's not a relevant comparison to today, with real salaries significantly smaller and most households requiring 2 jobs to achieve that standard of living

Actually, the point is people focusing on employment/population ratio alone are missing an enormous number of confounding factors. Employment/population ratio is only a useful statistic when combined with a whole lot of other statistics to try and tease out whatever it is you are attempting to analyze.

Comment Re:Surprised (Score 1) 504

Somehow, reaching an all time high for people not working says more than you suggest

Yes. It says the population is larger than it was in the 1950s. Ooooooooooo scary!!!

I think the unemployment number is truly bogus, because many people can't find a decent job in the 6 months they get on unemployment.

Unemployment rate is tied to unemployment benefits. The unemployment rate is measured by surveying people, not just counting people receiving benefits. As I mentioned above.

U6 (and U4) include the people you are talking about.

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