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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Employment to Population Ratio a Better Predictor of Uninsurance than Unemployment Rate

Commenter David Littleboy at The Incidental Economist, where my unemployment/jobs post was linked, makes the good point that the employment to population ratio might be a better predictor of uninsurance than the unemployment rate. Over the period covered by the Gallup surveys I reference (2008-June 2011), the data bear him out. The employment/population ratio falls over the entire period, and the uninsured rate rises the whole period. Not only that, the employment/population ratio catches the big one-month rise in uninsurance between May and June found in Gallup's polling.

That said, he doesn't disagree that adding jobs is our best short-term method for insuring more people until the ACA's individual mandate comes into effect in 2014.

I've got no problems with finding the best possible measure for things we're interested in. And it gives me an idea for a better measure of states' employment performance since the recession began...

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