After The Pandemic, Some Jobs Never Returned.

Joe Biden’s Fourth Dose.

Its been over two years since the Pandemic began. During that dreadful second quarter, government officials required that “non-essential” businesses close their doors.

The impact of this draconian action was swift and devastating. The economy went into free fall. It was declining at the fastest rate in history. Farther in a shorter period than even the Great Depression of the early twentieth century.

Perhaps most distressing was the effect these actions had on our population. More than 10 million people were immediately put out of work and often required to “self-quarantine.”

It’s easy to think that the country has recovered and is now “back to normal.” And indeed, that is the case for many. Economic reports this week show that many of our fellow citizens are still suffering from the lingering after-effects of that 2020 Pandemic and the corresponding actions of our government officials.

Just how employment in the country is doing. This week, we will get 6 of the most widely followed measure of the Jobs Market. Reporting today will be the JOLTS report of job openings for May.

Tomorrow ADP will report on the number of workers added to their payrolls. Then the Initial Claims for unemployment insurance. And on Friday, the Non-Farm Payrolls, overall participation rate, and the unemployment rate. All, except for the JOLTS report, measuring the nation’s job in June.

Each Report gives us an abundance of information for its particular sector but doesn’t tell much about how today’s jobs market compares to the country’s jobs market BEFORE the Pandemic.

That we’ll do ourselves, so let’s roll up our sleeves and go to work.

Now I’ve arbitrarily chosen June 2019 as our place to compare the country pre-covid.

Our first observation: the country had a population of 6 million fewer people. More people means more mouths to feed, people to shelter, and services to provide.

Looking at the jobs market, we expect to see more jobs today, with today’s higher population. But of that new 6 million Americans, many will now be old enough, newly emigrated, or otherwise eligible to work. Of course, many of those people will not be ready to work. They may be too young or too old.

But surprisingly, that is not the case. There are 700k fewer jobs today than in mid-2019. (Source: Civilian Labor Force, BLS).

That Report is the first sign that something significant happened to jobs in America over these past three years. There are overall fewer jobs. By this measure alone, we can suggest that today’s economy is smaller than the economy in 2019 as today’s economy employs fewer workers (700k).

But Jobs isn’t the only measure of decline. The number of people who have elected not to work is climbing. A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey report shows that in 2019, 94 million people elected not to take a job. Today 100 million. (The Report: “Not In Labor Force,” BLS).

That’s a 6 million increase in the number of working-age people who have elected not to work.

So there is the data. Let’s see if we can put all this together and paint a picture of this county’s job markets.

While the country’s population continues to grow, adding 6 million in 3 years. The number of jobs has declined by 700K in that time. At the same time, those willing to work have also dropped by 6 million.

Overall, America emerged from the Pandemic economically much weaker than it entered. Almost every long-term measure of the Workforce’s vitality is lower than before.

While Wall Street may tout a better June report than the May report, the reality is that by almost every measure, America’s 2022 Workforce is less robust than before, with fewer jobs and fewer workers.

These reports provide the “what” but not the “whys.”

We don’t know, for instance, why so many Americans have decided to drop out of the Workforce.

As anyone who has ever been unemployed knows, to be without a job in this society is not a decision that is easy to make.

There has been much speculation that people just decided to stay home and watch TV because they became lazy after months of quarantine.

I don’t buy it.

I think there is much more to these decisions than remaining idle. My intuition tells me that the reason so many stay home is likely health-related.

Either one of the myriads of diseases or cures has put this large section of the population in a position where they are no longer capable of performing at work.

Time will tell.

But there can be no doubt that the Pandemic of 2020 and beyond has been a watershed moment in America’s Labor Market.

And the status of jobs in this country is liable to be changed forever.

Economic News

In economic news this morning, the employment company Challenger, Grey, and Christmas reported that companies cut 32k jobs in June, the most significant number of job cuts in a year and a half. This brought the total number of job cuts for that second quarter to over 77k. The Automotive Industry was especially hard hit, with over 10k jobs in that industry alone. Car makers blamed the supply chain, especially semiconductor shortages, as a principal contributor to their dismal showing.

We will get the latest Balance of Trade Report in just a few minutes. This is the report on total Trade, including both goods and services. Our Trade in services is usually relatively positive, so this report always comes in better than the Trade in just goods report. Analysts still look for this comprehensive report to show a deficit of nearly 90 billion dollars for May. They are showing that, once again, the United States must still rely on offshore producers to supply needed goods and materials.

The Energy Information Administration will report on our gasoline supplies later in the day. We are expecting it to be down for the week ended

July 1.

In earnings today, positive results so far from Royal Dutch Shell, the giant integrated oil company, and RVL Pharmaceuticals. Not so good results from beauty company Helen of Troy or Meridian Bio-sciences. Later this afternoon, we will get results from Levi Strauss and WD-40 Company.

Have a great day!

David

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David Reavill

David Reavill writer + finance +iconoclast + hiker + Pennsylvania #valueside daily podcast + medium + meditate valueside.com/links