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Old 03-25-2020, 04:43 AM
Wrenching Spanners is offline
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How much of the job market is made up of essential workers?


How much of the job market is made up of essential workers?

The UK has gone into lockdown, and people are being asked to work from home and not travel to work unless they are an essential worker. https://www.gov.uk/government/public...onal-provision However, I havenít seen any numbers on how many workers are considered essential, versus how many are considered non-essential. Iím curious if anyone has seen any estimates from any country on these numbers.

Also, long-term, how many workers as a percentage of the population are needed to maintain an economy? Itís easy to single out industries and say that society can function without a particular industry. Nobody needs to go to the cinema, and while the cinema industry provides a nice service, itís not like eliminating it permanently would have a catastrophic economic effect. However, there are hundreds of industries about which the same thing could be said. Is the economy analogous to skin, where a small burn wonít kill a person, but if a high percentage of skin is burnt, it overwhelms the bodyís ability to heal and is ultimately fatal? Any idea what the critical percentage of jobs needed to keep an economy alive is?
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:25 AM
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Your last point is generally true, yes. A modern economy can only sustain so many people not working.

Precisely how many that is, of course, is hard to say. In the UK, the labour force participation rate - the percentage of human beings who actually have jobs, not counting the armed services - is about 64%. That figure doesn't vary much; it's always in the sixties. One can assume that in theory, were the number to drop low enough, eventually the UK would simply run out of money and stuff, or would have to be totally reorganized to be more of a subsistence lifestyle.

It's very hard, however, to figure out what that number is without rather a great deal of study and conjecture. As to what percentage of workers are "Essential," again, it's hard to say. I would probably venture 50%, though everyone defines the term a little differently.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:21 AM
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NJ says liquor stores are essential so they are not shutting down
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:30 AM
RickJay is offline
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That's true here too.

A number of people always then jump in to say that if you close liquor stores, alcoholics will all drop dead from withdrawal. That strikes me as being as astoundingly inefficient way of dealing with the extremely rare cases of alcoholics who would literally die if they stopped. The truth is, it's to keep the masses lubricated and less angry.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:31 PM
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A lot of businesses can be deemed essential.

My wife was surprised that her friend still had to work at the local marine supply business, you know, outboard motors, fishing gear, etc. Because they also serve the commercial fleet, which involves catching food, they are essential.

I am watching a dorm with a whole 4 students that couldn’t find a place to go when the school shut down, I will be working through the crisis.

Wife makes toilet paper, definitely essential. The lumber mill that supplies the wood chips to make the paper is staying open.

The mayor of Los Angeles was going to shut down all the gun stores yesterday but changed his mind and did not because law enforcement may need supplies.

Everything is interconnected in ways that are not obvious. The only non-essential businesses are those servicing people for things that can wait for a while. Like a haircut or manicure.

Last edited by Dallas Jones; 03-25-2020 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:53 PM
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And you would think that obviously hospital workers would be retained, right? Nope. All elective surgeries have been postponed. Things like physical therapy, tests that can wait, knee replacements, are all being rescheduled for later and mean that a lot of hospital employees have nothing to do. There is going to be a serious back-log of needed procedures once this is over.

There has only been one case of the virus found so far in my county, so yesterday the local hospital laid-off 90 people. Of course they should be able to be quickly recalled if needed, but still, hospital workers?
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
That's true here too.

A number of people always then jump in to say that if you close liquor stores, alcoholics will all drop dead from withdrawal. That strikes me as being as astoundingly inefficient way of dealing with the extremely rare cases of alcoholics who would literally die if they stopped. The truth is, it's to keep the masses lubricated and less angry.
I thought that was little too cynical at first, but on rethinking it, it's probably true. If you want the masses cooped up in their homes for two weeks, a bit of lubrication helps. It also helps with social normality -- wine with dinner, etc.

Liquor store employees benefit from belonging to a powerful union which, among other things, has made coming to work completely optional -- you don't have to be symptomatic or have caretaking responsibilities, you can just decide to stay home. The result is that, from what I've seen so far, most stores are seriously understaffed.

As for essential workers, here is Ontario's list of essential businesses. Not only is it very long, but that very first item -- the reference to the supply chain -- means that any entity that makes anything that supplies an essential business is itself essential. In total that's quite a vast network of manufacturers and service providers.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
How much of the job market is made up of essential workers?
Depends on the situation, a quarantine is different from a wartime situation. Heard a bunch of coal miners signed up with the British Army back in ww1, got shipped back to Blighty as they were deemed essential.

As well we are now looking at essential chains, instead of singular jobs as you have to look at it from raw to refined product.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:46 AM
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Barbers, beauticians, and tattoo artists probably aren't essential, no matter what we look like. (MrsRico trims my hair.) Furniture, carpet, and decor salespeople aren't needed now. Septic-pumpers, well-drillers, and waste-haulers ARE essential. Physical therapists are likely sidelined. (MrsRico and I fortunately had our drastic procedures a few months ago.) Realtors, lawyers, accountants... the Thieves' Guild is quiet for now.

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Originally Posted by Dallas Jones View Post
There has only been one case of the virus found so far in my county, so yesterday the local hospital laid-off 90 people. Of course they should be able to be quickly recalled if needed, but still, hospital workers?
Which county in an Orygun Forest are you in? My cousin (a former postal exec) on the Rogue River in Jackson County (4 positives) didn't mention hospital layoffs when we spoke today. My Calyfurnia forest county has 2 positives and 2 each in adjacent counties; health services aren't sending staff home. Except maybe physical therapists.

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Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
Liquor store employees benefit from belonging to a powerful union which, among other things, has made coming to work completely optional -- you don't have to be symptomatic or have caretaking responsibilities, you can just decide to stay home.
I guess the situation differs in jurisdictions with state-run liquor stores. Our local is owned by a Sikh gentleman whose staff are himself and his family. No union here.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
I thought that was little too cynical at first, but on rethinking it, it's probably true. If you want the masses cooped up in their homes for two weeks, a bit of lubrication helps. It also helps with social normality -- wine with dinner, etc.
I'm not sure about other states, but in both Maryland and West Virginia, they have suspended the usual rules about restaurants not being able to sell to-go liquor. I can go to the local Mexican place and get carry out food and so long as I have a container that closes, they will sell me margaritas to put in it and some will deliver to the house. That was never permitted before, but is now.

You can also buy packaged liquor from any place that has an on premises liquor license and can have it delivered as well.

I agree with you that such policies are not only to protect extreme alcoholics from dying, but it keeps people happy and compliant. Some guy sitting on his couch and getting hammered during his waking hours is a guy who is NOT out in public causing trouble and not social distancing and spreading disease.

ETA: It seems odd that they draw the line there and won't put it in a go cup. I understand that they don't want me drinking in public or drinking and driving, but a closed container also has a way of opening. If I was inclined to do that, I would do it anyways.

Last edited by UltraVires; 03-26-2020 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:14 AM
Manda JO is offline
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I think the liquor-to-go thing is also just because that's the highest margin item on their menu and lots of restaurants are trying to stay afloat (or at least slow the bleed). Telling them they can't see margaritas is just twisting the knife.

Remember, too, that a lot of people are working from home. So there are plenty of non-essential workers still actively contributing to the economy and still getting paid.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:24 AM
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Here is an article for the U.S.:
COVID-19: Which Workers Face the Highest Unemployment Risk?

Quote:
Employed in “Essential” Occupations 24,840,280 17%
https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-ec...mployment-risk

This was one of two studies discussed in:
Back-of-the-Envelope Estimates of Next Quarter’s Unemployment Rate
https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-ec...mployment-rate

which give an estimated next quarter's unemployment rate of 32%

Last edited by PastTense; 03-26-2020 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:37 PM
Dallas Jones is offline
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Which county in an Orygun Forest are you in? My cousin (a former postal exec) on the Rogue River in Jackson County (4 positives) didn't mention hospital layoffs when we spoke today. My Calyfurnia forest county has 2 positives and 2 each in adjacent counties; health services aren't sending staff home. Except maybe physical therapists.
Clatsop

https://www.dailyastorian.com/corona...ca0028e44.html
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by [URL="https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce"
CISA.gov[/URL]]Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s responsibilities as assigned under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide strategic guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation's critical infrastructure.
Many of the "shelter at home" orders made by various states and municipalities reference the guidelines put forth be the Federal agency, CISA, referred to above.


HEALTHCARE / PUBLIC HEALTH
LAW ENFORCEMENT, PUBLIC SAFETY, FIRST RESPONDERS
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
ENERGY
WATER AND WASTEWATER
TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS
PUBLIC WORKS
OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS
CRITICAL MANUFACTURING
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
FINANCIAL SERVICES
CHEMICAL
DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL BASE
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
I think the liquor-to-go thing is also just because that's the highest margin item on their menu and lots of restaurants are trying to stay afloat (or at least slow the bleed). Telling them they can't see margaritas is just twisting the knife.
I think you can also read this as an answer to the question "which regulations are essential".

Some of them are, but it turns out that the downside of keeping restaurants from selling booze to go isn't actually very important. Hopefully (unlike workers) this change will persist beyond the crisis. Are we actually made demonstrably safer by forcing me to go to two places to get beer and takeout food? Or, even worse, for people who might have been drinking already to not be able to get food and more alcohol delivered?
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