mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Will the stock market affect the job market?

I have a running joke with my boss - every time he makes a large purchase (new car, boat, ect) or comments that the stock market is down, I respond "oh, great, now you are never going to retire...".

It's not that I don't like my boss - he's a great guy, he's helped me out in a bunch of ways, and if I had one complaint about him, it's that he isn't demanding enough. But because few people leave where I work, opportunities for advancement are limited, and if he ever retires I think I have a good shot at his job, and I think it's something I'd enjoy.

But while it's mostly a running joke, it does make me wonder if there are people across the country saying - or thinking - the same thing. If the market doesn't recover, and if people don't see their home values recover/stabilize, I wonder if it will have an impact on the job markets, and on promotion/advancement.

I got my 401(k) statement closing 9/30 a few days ago - I was down 19% for the year, and that excludes the madness of the last couple days. My portfolio is in the S&P 500, following the Random Walk Down Wall Street theory. I'm not overly concerned about this - I'm in it for the long term. Age 65 (and I doubt anyone will retire that young by the time I'm that old) is is 37 years away for me - longer than I've been on this earth so far. The market will go up and down a ton of times before then. But people who are near retirement are probably thinking about putting it off for a while.

Real estate prices might be having the same effect. Near-retires who were planning on selling their homes after retiring and moving - to a retirement community, to a different state, to a smaller place - are probably reconsidering.

I wonder how this will affect the job/promotion market - if the economy will mean that many older people can't afford to retire, that they will stay in the workplace for a while - and if by doing that, they will keep their younger replacements from moving up.


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