Posts filed under “Employment”
I thoroughly enjoy the regular polls that Gallup releases. I am aware of all the flaws and pitfalls of these surveys. Indeed, each new sample provides an opportunity to sharpen one’s statistical cynicism.
Sometimes, however, they offer insights into specific aspects of the American psyche, helping to clarify my thinking about societal, economic and market sentiment.
The latest poll, illustrated by the chart below, is no different. It found that the average age at which Americans report retiring is 62, the highest since Gallup started asking the question in 1991. Current expectations for retirement have increased to age 66, up from 63 in 2002.
There are numerous reasons for this.
Living longer: Lifespans in the U.S. have increased. This is taking place at both ends of the age scale; infant mortality is down and there are many more octogenarians. If you are going to live longer, you will need more money in retirement.
Better health: Obesity aside, Americans are healthier later in their lives than they were just a few decades ago. This might be contributing to people being able to work later in life.
More service and office jobs: Manual labor is difficult, wearing on the body over time. The big increase in office and service jobs means that you can continue working even after your physical prime.
Financial needs: Not having enough cash to retire is another reason people retire later. Another poll found this was Americans’ top financial concern. Wells Fargo noted that the value of financial investments is often the main force driving retirement expectations. The impact of the financial crisis on the savings of those near retirement is another factor.
Retire and die: Retirement age may be increasing because many baby boomers are reluctant to retire. This may be purely anecdotal, but too many people have seen retirees settle into their new life on a golf-course community, and then promptly drop dead. Work and live, retire and die seems to be the message for some.
A few statistical oddities: Like all polls, people say they expect to do one thing, but typically end up doing something else. Gallup notes that since they began tracking the issue of when people plan on retiring, expectations are “consistently higher than the average age at which they actually retire.”
Now here’s my favorite statistic from the survey: Some 11 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds polled expect to retire before age 55. Unless as a group they manage to stash away a lot more money during their working years than any other group, this isn’t going to happen. If anything, as longevity rises, retirement ages will head even higher. These people are in for a surprise.
Source: National Employment Law Project I really like this bubble chart. I saw it last night in a report from the National Employment Law Project titled: “The Low-Wage Recovery: Industry Employment and Wages Four Years into the Recovery.” Interestingly, the data has provoked opposing reactions from two media outlets. The Washington Post’s Wonkblog used…Read More
click for larger graphic Source: Calculated Risk Have a look at the chart above, via Calculated Risk. It aligns the depths of all eleven post WW2 recessions, showing how long it took them to recover all of the jobs lost. The outlier is the 2007-09 contraction, which according to the chart above, is…Read More
While I have been busy kvetching about the weather, another payrolls report has snuck up on us. Estimates are for a 200,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls, the most since November, according to the median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. But really, I have to ask: Why do you care? As I have relentlessly…Read More
What the Federal Reserve is Doing to Promote a Stronger Job Market Chair Janet L. Yellen At the 2014 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference, Chicago, Illinois March 31, 2014 I am here today to talk about what the Federal Reserve is doing to help our nation recover from the financial crisis and the…Read More
click for larger graphic Source: NYT Floyd Norris discusses an upcoming milestone: A full recovery in employment to numerical (but not percentage) employment in the US: “This seems likely to be the month when a new high is finally reached, ending a period that featured the largest drop in employment and the slowest recovery…Read More
With Spring nearly upon us, today may be the last chance for excuse-makers to blame this winter’s awful weather for poor job creation. Consensus estimates are that Payrolls increased 149,000 in February after a mediocre gain of 113,000 in January. What is to blame for this weak ongoing job creation? Is it the Fed’s fault?…Read More
Why Is the Job-Finding Rate Still Low? Liberty Street Economics Victoria Gregory, Christina Patterson, Ayşegül Şahin, and Giorgio Topa Fluctuations in unemployment are mostly driven by fluctuations in the job-finding prospects of unemployed workers—except at the onset of recessions, according to various research papers (see, for example, Shimer [2005, 2012] and Elsby, Hobijn,…Read More