I would have written “chart of the day, year, and probably decade” if it included data for stagnant real wages. Then, it would be the single most important chart of the Second Great Depression.
As it stands, it indicates that
since the Great Recession officially ended in June of 2009 GDP, equipment investment, and total corporate profits have rebounded, and are all now at their all-time highs (non-financial profits are near their historic high). The employment ratio, meanwhile, has only shrunk and is now at its lowest level since the early 1980s when women had not yet entered the workforce in significant numbers.
So current labor force woes are not because the economy isn’t growing, and they’re not because companies aren’t making money or spending money on equipment. They’re because these trends have become increasingly decoupled from hiring — from needing more human workers.
Our task is to explain these trends, not as the simple result of the “computer age” (as Andrew McAfee sees it) but as the consequence of the way capitalism is currently being reorganized—culturally, politically, and economically (including technology)—in the midst of the Second Great Depression.