Who Ended Up With Jobs In The New Normal?

by: Steven Hansen

Who are the victims in the mediocre employment situation? It is not people over 55, women, Hispanics or the educated.

Please note that the graphs below are indexed on the start date of the 2001 recession.

It is a striking statistic that people 55 and up not only did not experience negative employment effects from the Great Recession - but the jobs held by this group pretty much continued to expand at pre-recession trend lines.

  • Employment in the next age group down (45 to 54) is still contracting long after the end of the Great Recession;
  • Employment levels in age group 35 to 44 have not recovered from the effects of the recession - and the situation remains static for over 3 years;
  • The age groups from 20 to 34 have almost fully recovered to pre-recession levels and are on a growth trend line;
  • And the youngest segment of the population (16 through 19) continues to suffer the worst effects of the recession.

Index of Employment Levels - 55 and up (dark grey line), 45 to 54 (purple line), 35 to 44 (orange line), 25 to 34 (green line), 20 to 24 (red line), and 16 to 19 (blue line)

Women are doing better than men. Could this relate to more women being employed in sectors less affected by economic slowdowns such as health care or education?

Index of Employment Levels - Men (blue line) vs Women (red line)

Mom and Pop concerns' employment is sucking swamp water - and remains at twenty first century lows

The less education one has, the less chance of finding a job. Being educated seems an advantage to having a job. Is it the fact one has a piece of paper? Or just smarter in finding the pathway to employment? Or are those with degrees better prepared for employment? Or more adaptable to employment changes? Perhaps some of all four factors?

Index of Employment Levels - University graduate (blue line), Some college or AA degree (orange line), high school graduates (green line), and high school dropouts (red line)

One significant observation - being white is not helpful for employment. FRED does not have data series for Asians, but the BLS does - and indexed Asian employment levels are similar to Hispanic.

Index of Employment Levels - Hispanic (blue line), African American (red line), and White (green line)

There is only one point I am making in this post: demographics of overall trends in employment have changed.

My normal weekly economic wrap is in my instablog,

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.