Saturday, July 23 2011 @ 03:41 pm EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: Holy crap. According to this article the tiny economy of Panama created 116,770 new jobs in just the past six months. That is an amazing number, when you consider the entire workforce of the Republic of Panama is only estimated to be about 1.557 million people. Therefore, 116,770 new hires would represent 7.49% of the entire estimated labor force. The unemployment level for 2010 was 6.5%. If these numbers are true and accurate, unemployment should now be at -1%. Full employment, plus some. The only way to work this magic is if some people who were identified in this report as "new hires" actually left other work or positions in order to fill these new contracts. The details of the numbers don't really matter all that much. What does matter, on the other hand, is that Panama's economy is estimated to grow at about 8.5% this year. A growing economy creates new jobs. And without a doubt the labor force is drying up, running out - approaching full employment across the board. Very soon employers will start to feel the pinch. They won't be able to find qualified people to fill the positions they have open. Employers will then start to do several things. They will hire illegals to work for cash and under the table. They will increase pay to entice qualified and experienced employees to leave one company to come work for them. And, they will begin to ask the government of Panama to ease restrictions on foreign workers. And obviously, these restrictions make no sense in an economy that has reached full employment. I've been predicting this for years, and now it looks like we're getting closer and closer to the "tipping point."