Peter F. Orazem, university professor, was interviewed for an April 15 Des Moines Register article, "Sluggish restaurant hiring drags down Iowa's economy in March as eateries struggle to find workers."
From 2019 to 2021, the labor force participation rate among Iowans between 45 and 54 years old decreased to 84% from 92%. Nationally, the rate for this age group remained steady around 81%.
Orazem said the drop is troubling, and it's difficult to understand what happened. It is not an age group that would typically require child care, he said, because most of their children would be in high school.
At the same time, most people between 45 and 54 are not retiring early because of the pandemic, he said.
"To be honest, I don’t know what people between the ages of 45 and 54 are doing," Orazem said. "Those are the peak earning years in somebody’s lifetime."
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Orazem was also interviewed by Skylar Tallal, Iowa's News Now, about the economic impact losing the caucuses would have on Iowa’s economy.
Orazem gave a presentation at the Iowa Industrial Energy Group Spring Conference in Johnston, Iowa, April 19 on "The Iowa Labor Market After the Great Resignation."