NPR: Decline In Disability Rolls Might Mean This Jobs Boom Is For Real
[Hot Air] Call it the last of the red-hot overhangs. Earlier this week, NPR’s Scott Horsley took note of a curious and counter-intuitive trend in disability claims. For the first time in decades ‐ and a few years after a sharp spike ‐ the number of Americans declaring themselves unable to work have started falling. It’s the last piece of a recovery puzzle that stumped a lot of people who should have known better:
During and after the Great Recession, people turned to disability rolls in large numbers to make ends meet. This accelerated what had been going on for a generation, as the federal government’s disability insurance program saw steady growth.

But now, for the first time in decades, the disability rolls are shrinking. More people with disabilities are returning to work and holding on to their jobs. With unemployment at a nearly 50-year low, companies are struggling to find workers. And that means people who had trouble finding a job in the past are suddenly in demand. That includes people with disabilities. ...

It’s still unusual for people to leave the disability program and return to work. Less than 1% of recipients do so each year. But the numbers have been growing as the job market has improved. In 2017 more than 51,000 people traded disability checks for paychecks, up from about 32,000 four years earlier.
It’s not like the inflation of disability rolls were a mystery, and yet nearly everyone seemed to forget about them. It began in earnest as the extended unemployment insurance payments began to run out in 2011-12. After a few years of the recovery, economists claimed that the US economy had reached "full employment" based on the U-3 unemployment rate. Yet wages remained flat and personal economies showed little sign of improvement. The same economists began claiming that the normal labor-market wage mechanisms of supply and demand had stopped working and that government intervention on compensation would be required to resolve the problem.
Posted by: Besoeker 2019-05-27