March 2021 Labor Market Survey: Employment Expectations Again Improve

from the New York Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data released the March 2021 SCE Labor Market Survey, which shows among the respondents who were employed four months ago, 97.3 percent were still employed in March 2021, compared to 95.3 percent in November 2020 and 89.1 percent in March 2020.


The increase was primarily due to a decline in transitions out of the labor force (which fell to 1.3 percent in March 2021 from 4.0 percent in November 2020).

The proportion of individuals who reported searching for a job in the past four weeks rebounded to 20.3 percent in March 2021 from 17.8 percent in November 2020. The increase was primarily driven by women.

The average expected likelihood of staying employed over the next four months, for those who are currently employed, increased to 96.1 percent in March 2021 from 94.2 percent in November 2020. This is the highest reading since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The average expected likelihood of working beyond age 67 declined to 32.9 percent in March 2021, equaling its lowest reading since the series' start in March 2014, from 34.9 percent in November 2020. The decline was most pronounced for women. The average expected likelihood of working beyond age 62 remained essentially unchanged.

About the SCE Labor Market Survey

The SCE Labor Market Survey fielded as part of the Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) since March 2014, provides information on consumers' experiences and expectations regarding the labor market. Every four months, approximately 1,000 SCE panelists are asked for details about their current (or most recent) job. Respondents are asked about job transitions, and about their job search effort and outcomes (number of job offers and offer wages), over the last four months. The currently employed are also asked about their level of satisfaction with wages, non-wage benefits, and their prospects for advancement at their current job. In addition, the survey elicits respondents' expectations about job transitions over the next four months. Respondents are asked about the likelihood of receiving at least one job offer over the next four months, the expected number of offers, and the expected wages for these offers. The survey also elicits the respondents' "reservation wage" and retirement expectations.

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