Friday, February 09, 2018

Lawler on Prime Working Age Population

by Bill McBride on 2/09/2018 01:47:00 PM

CR note: Earlier this week, I wrote Prime Working-Age Population At New Peak, First Time Since 2007. As I noted, my graph was based on data from the BLS.

Housing economist Tom Lawler pointed out that the BLS data doesn't match the Census data. He wrote: "The reason the BLS population data don't jive with the latest Census population estimates is that there have been numerous and in some cases sizable revisions in population estimates from those first reported, and the BLS does NOT go back and adjust historical data for revisions. In re last decade, there were a string of downward population revisions."

Here is a table of the recent Census estimates for the prime working age population (Vintage 2016). Note: The Vintage 2017 has been released, but not by age.

In general, the data shows the same pattern as the data from the BLS (although the details are different) - the prime working age population was mostly flat in the 2010 to 2014 period (due to demographics, not the great recession), and the prime working age population is now growing again (although this may be impacted by immigration policies going forward). This is important because slower working age population growth impacts GDP. See Demographics and GDP: 2% is the new 4%

Prime Working Age Population, Census Vintage 2016
As of July 125 to 54Annual Change
2000122,972,314
2001123,909,5420.8%
2002123,982,4890.1%
2003124,217,9550.2%
2004124,696,7610.4%
2005125,260,0890.5%
2006125,925,1390.5%
2007126,449,6320.4%
2008126,860,4060.3%
2009127,078,2410.2%
2010127,191,7780.1%
2011127,209,2960.0%
2012127,144,275-0.1%
2013127,134,5000.0%
2014127,302,0080.1%
2015127,578,9730.2%
2016127,934,0780.3%