The Jobs Recovery Stalled Months Ago For Many Age Groups


The recovery in jobs has stalled across the board and did so months ago for select age groups.

Hard Hit Age Groups

Every age group was clobbered with employment losses in the initial phase of the Covid pandemic especially those aged 16-24.

In April, employment in age group 16-19 declined by 32%, age group 20-24 by 30%, and age group 25-34 by 14%. 

Age group 35-44 was the least impacted, down 10%.

That makes the April range 10%-32%.

Current State of the Recovery

The recovery was strongest in the age groups hit the hardest. The entire range now is -7% to -4% with 65+ down 7%. Age group 35-44 is down only 4% (3.64%). 

Stalled Recovery

The jobs recovery has stalled and did so at different times for different age groups.

Peak Decline and Recovery Months

  • Age Group 16-19: -32.34% in April, -1.11% in October, -5.05% in January
  • Age Group 20-24: -29.50% in April,  -6.18% in November, -6.81% in January.
  • Age Group 25-34: -14.45% in April, -6.2% in January
  • Age Group 35-44: -10.13% in April, -3.60% in September, -3.64% in January
  • Age Group 45:54: -13.91% in April, -5.43% in December,  - 5.33% in January
  • Age Group 55-59: -12.67% in April, -5.91% in October, -6.72% in January
  • Age Group 60-64:  -12.17% in April, -3.56% in August, -4.24% in January
  • Age Group 65+: -14.53% in May, -4.81% in November, -7.39% in January
  • All Age Groups: -14.92% in April, -5.43% in October, -5.48% in January

Unemployment Rate Dives as People Drop Out of the Labor Force and Life

Unemployment Rate Seasonally Adjusted 2021-01

Earlier today I noted Unemployment Rate Dives as People Drop Out of the Labor Force and Life. 

That decline in the unemployment rate is a statistical anomaly related to a BLS adjustment in population. 

The Labor Force declined by 406,000. Also note the population normally rises month-to-month but instead it fell by 379,000.

The BLS made this notice today: "Household survey data for January 2021 reflect updated population estimates." 

Year-over-year employment numbers tell the real story. 

Note that year-over-year percentages will start looking ridiculous in March due to easy comparisons. 


Comments (23)
No. 1-9

Employment can't recover until covid is conquered. I expect things to start looking better once the J&J vaccine is in production. That may take until this summer or early fall Until these vaccines can turn the cases of those that would die into cases of the common cold, which all 3 major vaccines do now, then the economy can't get back to normal operating tempo. I say sometme in Q1/2022 will be inflection point where we have herd immunity and people can start living a normal life again.


"Stalled Recovery"

Disneyland is still closed, as is Knotts Berry Farm and Magic Mountain theme parks, in the Los Angeles area. Outdoor dining was just allowed for the second time, just last Friday.

A Youtuber, "German in Venice" took a walk on Hollywood Blvd. at night recently, to show the homeless problem. A number of store windows were still boarded up. I would assume business is rather poor along there now for what ever stores that are open.

Another Youtuber interviewed a convenience store owner in the County Records building who was going out of business, who talked how much things had run down in the downtown L.A. area, since the pandemic.


Say Mish before I embrace traditional Friday afternoon Happy Hour, if this recovery is so weak, why does the interest rate on both the 10 year note and 30 year bond keep moving up? Do those who are short these treasury issues think the vaccines are going to work in such dramatic fashion that economic growth is going to take off, and there’ll be rainbows and lollipops as equity markets seem to suggest?


Well, after all, Pickering, I'm just an ordinary man..... But, I have an extraordinarily difficult time wrapping my head around the idea, as so many do (or are desperately hopeful for), of a "recovery" in the works. If that is defined as a continuation of pre-Covid record levels of personal, credit card, business, mortgage, auto loan, student loan and governmental debt, but people continue to spend, you may be on-point. How feeble our memories. Based on the Fed's own numbers (and who trusts a group of large banks who have never been audited?) their balance sheet in August 2007 was $870B. It's now over $7.4T. And that's a recovery? God help us, cuz the Fed's running out of ammunition (and, more importantly, credibility).


While many workers are chilling at home or working reduced hours due to covid-19 lock-downs many are paying little attention to the huge number of job opportunities that are vanishing every day. A higher minimum wage adds a whole new element to this situation by encouraging businesses to bring in machines that reduce the need for human workers.
Those putting a friendly face on this calling it "creative destruction" may someday look back at the problems it creates with huge regret. The article below explores how jobs are being eliminated at an alarming rate and the ramifications of this trend.


So heart-rending.

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