Barbell Employment Recovery
- Employment in age group 16-19 is fully recovered.
- Employment in age group 60-64 is nearly recovered and perhaps will do so next month.
- The next best recovery is in age group 65+.
I created the above chart from a BLS Data Download. All age groups are seasonally adjusted except 55-59, 60-64, and 65+.
The BLS does not have seasonally-adjusted data for those age groups.
I did not use unadjusted data across the board because school and seasonal employment dramatically impacts younger age groups.
To see if the numbers make sense, I matched the numbers to a seasonal adjustment of the entire Employment Level on Fred.
April 2021 is 151,176
Feb 2020 is 158,732
Difference is -7,556
I came up with -7,372 and that is about as close if not closer than one could reasonably expect totaling 8 different age groups vs one seasonally-adjusted total.
Employment Population Ratios
Since there are shifts in the populations of various age groups we must also look at employment population ratios to see who is winning and who isn't.
The employment population ratio (EPR) is the percent of people employed divided by the working age population.
Employment vs Employment at the Pre-Covid EPR
Hooray for the Barbell!
Once again age group 16-19 is the clear winner in the recovery.
There are 5.398 million employed in this age group. Had employment been at the pre-pandemic ratio there would have been 5.282 million workers.
Once again, age group 60-64 is doing second best followed by age group 55-59 and then 65+.
These are relative hoorays, but it does put a spotlight on the struggles of the prime age groups 25-54.
Employment Population Ratio Changes
The employment population ratio of age group 16-19 is the only age group that has a ratio higher now than pre-Covid.
I calculated the numbers directly from BLS data but you can confirm on Fred.
Once again, the barbell holds. Next best is age group 60-64 followed by 65+.