The aging of the population is pushing down the overall labor force participation rates. However, employment to population rates for prime age workers (ages 25 to 54) are still below pre-recession levels and well below 2000 levels. The falloff is pretty much across the board, applying to both men and women and both more educated and less educated workers. In other words, if there were more demand, more people would be working. While the 4.1% unemployment rate is low by the standards of the last 45 years, it is worth noting that . Japan's rate is 3.3% and Germany is 3.6%, without triggering inflation.
The HumphreyHawkins Full Employment Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 27, 1978, after passage and amendment by Congress. The Act set specific numerical goals for the President and Federal Reserve to attain. By 1983, unemployment rates should be not more than 3% for persons aged 20 or over and not more than 4% for persons aged 16 or over, and inflation rates should not be over 4%. By 1988, inflation rates should be 0%. The Act allows Congress to revise these goals over time. As of 2017 the Federal Reserve has had a target inflation rate of 2%, not 0%.
The Act's sponsors embraced conventional Keynesian economics, which advocates aggressive government spending to increase economic demand. Consistent with Keynesian theory, the Act provides for measures to create temporary government jobs to reduce unemployment.
No one in politics ever brings this up. They don't want you to know they aren't doing their job. They don't even want to bring it to your attention by repealing it.
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