Rebuilding America: ‘Life-changing event’ of COVID-19 could alter how we work, spend and retire – Oklahoman.com

Rebuilding America: ‘Life-changing event’ of COVID-19 could alter how we work, spend and retire  Oklahoman.com

And the business travel industry is likely to shrink now that companies have replaced jam-packed conferences and other events with videoconferencing, says Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, the job search site. That means fewer jobs at airlines, hotels and event planning firms.

Where will jobs grow? Technology positions that make possible the home-based digital and online services, as well as health care as the virus remains a threat and the population ages, Kolko says. Amazon and grocery delivery services will continue as a jobs engine.

Many furloughed restaurant workers could leave the industry before they’re laid off. Since the crisis began, the number of restaurant servers seeking positions in other sectors has topped those looking for food service positions, Glassdoor data show. Their searches have increased sevenfold for jobs at Amazon and fivefold for data entry positions while tripling for warehouse jobs. 

Overall, the labor market will be far less favorable to workers than it was before the  pandemic, when job openings hovered near record highs and there were more vacancies than workers, Kolko says. That pushed average annual wage gains to about 3%, and gave job candidates, who often juggled multiple offers, more leverage in negotiating salaries. Suddenly, there’s a surplus of workers and that’s likely to limit pay increases, Kolko says.

Retirement planning

Many workers’ retirement savings plans have taken a hit since the crisis began. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is 15% below its Feb. 19 peak. In late March, 63% of workers were confident about having enough money to live comfortably in retirement, down from 69% in January, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Among those laid off or furloughed — or who expected to be in the next six months — just 47% said they were confident in their retirement finances.

Amtrak, La-Z-Boy and Marriott are among companies that have suspended or reduced contributions to retirement plans to conserve cash during the crisis. About 55% of Americans plan to make changes to their retirement contributions, with most intending to set aside less, Mass Mutual says.

U.S. workers have a median $50,000 in retirement accounts, according to a study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies released late last year.

Source: oklahoman.com

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