August 13, 2021

WHY IS THE U.S. LABOUR FORCE SHRINKING? (BLOOMBERG)

  • Working age population (15 to 64) declined for the first time in decades in 2019 and then again in 2020.
    • Boomers’ retirement more than doubled in 2020 Y/Y
    • Boomers are people of knowledge, decades of experience, willing to work long hours and high production – hard to replace one for one
  • Automation: employment growth has not kept up with GDP growth. Technology has been available for the last 10 to 15 years, but it wasn’t adopted, and now it is.
  • Drug addiction has been quietly ripping through the U.S. workforce since the mid-1990’s.
    • Deaths from drug overdoses jumped 30% in 2020, to a record 92,183
    • The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland published a research paper in May 2018 estimating that prescription opioids accounted for 44% of the decrease in men’s labour force since 2001
  • Child-care had millions of parents leaving the labour market early in the pandemic. Women’s participation in the U.S. workforce has dropped from a high of 60.3%, to June of this year, 56.2%.

U.S. MENTAL HEALTH – COVID’S SECOND SUMMER

  • Nearly 22.3 million Americans recently received counselling from mental-health professionals according to a new data collected in the two weeks ending Aug 2nd, up 5 million vs a year ago.
  • Americans who think they needed help but didn’t get it, up 1/3 from last summer to 23.6 million.
  • 6 million people are now taking prescription drugs to help with emotional or mental health, up nearly 9 million from a year ago.
  • Nearly 27 million people between the ages 18 to 39 are receiving counselling or prescriptions, up 7 million from a year ago.

MIGHT ALBERTA REPLACE CHINA FOR A HOME FOR BITCOIN?

  • Black Rock Petroleum Company, a Nevada based company released that they have an agreement to operate up to 1 million bitcoin mining rigs in Alberta.
    • They identified the Quirk Creek natural gas plant, SW of Calgary. They state that they could start with 200,000 bitcoin machines located from China
  • Alex de Vries, Digiconomist, said the move to Alberta would represent a multi-billion dollar investment and the 1 million computers could represent 1/3 global capacity.
  • As of August 9th, the total market supply of bitcoin was worth just more than $866 billion U.S.
  • Black Rock would work in partnership with China-based Optimum Mining Host Ltd., who would provide much of the financing.

TIDBITS

  • Hackers perpetrated and stole an estimated $600 million U.S. in cryptocurrency from PolyNetwork this week, effecting tens of thousands of individuals.
  • United Nations presented their 6th report on global warming, after being signed by all 193 member countries, summarizing the works of thousands of academics. For the first time they included “compound events”; concurrent events such as heat waves-droughts. For example, heat waves in Russia led to a drought, restricting wheat exports adding to instability and the uprising in Egypt.