Where Did All The Workers Go?

In a November 30, 2022, speech on “Inflation and the Labor Market,” Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell blamed most of the 3.5 million estimated shortfall in the US labor force on premature retirements.

He also blamed a large portion – between 280,000 and 680,000 – on “long Covid.”

In a footnote, however, Powell acknowledged a far more somber factor: an estimated 400,000 unexpected deaths among working age people.

It’s easy to blame these deaths on Covid-19. The virus is of course one significant cause. But it’s not nearly the only cause, especially among young and middle-age workers.

We need better government data transparency to make a full assessment. Until then, we can proceed with others who track mortality for a living – life insurance companies.

The Great Divide – 2020 vs. 2021

In 2020, Covid-19 took many lives, even among select groups of middle-age people, specifically those with comorbidities such as diabetes. In 2020, Covid did not take very many lives of healthy young and middle-age people – for example, the types of people who are employed at large and mid-size companies and who have group life insurance. As you can see in the chart below, group life insurance benefit payments in 2020 were barely higher than in 2018. – READ MORE

Responses