Of the 5.5 million U.S. workers still jobless from the COVID War, more than half are not seeking work and no longer plan to, according to a report published last week by JP Morgan.
“About half of the people who lost jobs during COVID are still actively looking for work, while the other half are not,” Morgan senior economist Jesse Edgerton wrote in the study.
A little more than 22 American million jobs were lost when lockdowns were first imposed; now, about 17 million have been added back, leaving roughly 5.5 million off of payrolls.
Of those 5.5 million, 2.9 million are not seeking work, Morgan’s study calculated.
About 900,000 of those are age 55 or older and could have simply retired early, the report acknowledges.
From February 2020 to June 2021, 1.3 percent of the U.S. workforce retired, compared to the 0.3 percent that would be typical during that length of time, according to figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
The remaining two million ex-workers could be remaining jobless for several reasons, the report said.
Some might be waiting for the Delta virus to come under control; others, almost all women, may be handling child care responsibilities, with the future of in-person schooling in doubt and daycare centers now left with 126,700 fewer workers than before the COVID War, according to The Washington Post.
Others have reevaluated their work lives and have left low-wage jobs in hospitality or health care to search for something more fulfilling or lucrative, the report suggested.
Also, there is a continuing mismatch between skilled jobs that are open—in manufacturing, for example—and people seeking work but lacking those specialized abilities.
TRENDPOST: We have said many times that what has been lost is lost forever. The COVID WAR has destroyed the lives and livelihoods of millions.
The COVID War has reshaped the world job market, wiping out millions of low-wage, low-skill jobs, spurring automation in the workplace, as we detailed in “Virus Speeds Automation: Bye Bye Workers” (21 Sep 2021), and creating a future that has far less use for people who lack specialized training and skills.