- Why Do We Need Extra Income?
- People are Losing Jobs under Lockdown
- Job Certainty is Illusion
- Financial Security – Your Self Assessment
- Wrap Up
Why Do We Need Extra Income?
People are Losing Jobs under Lockdown
According to ILO (International Labour Organization), COVID-19 may deteriorate 305 million full-time jobs in 2Q 2020. The same report said;
The continued sharp decline in working hours globally due to the COVID-19 outbreak means that 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy – that is nearly half of the global workforce – stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed, warns the International Labour Organization.
In G7 countries, the unemployment spiked at the beginning of the lock-down and showed a recovery like the below chart from the World Economic Forum shows;
However, we don’t know if such recovery continues given the fear of the 2nd wave.
Job Certainty is Illusion
As a matter of fact, before coronavirus pandemic outbroke, we had already known that Job certainty is completely an illusion especially among middle-class people. We will show you in several charts.
Income Inequality – Gini Index
Let me share a bit about World Income Inequality measured by GINI Coefficient. What is the Gini Index?
It is often used as a gauge of economic inequality, measuring income distribution or, less commonly, wealth distribution among a population. The coefficient ranges from 0 (or 0%) to 1 (or 100%), with 0 representing perfect equality and 1 representing perfect inequality.
Values over 1 are theoretically possible due to negative income or wealth.Investpedia
It looks the advanced countries are more equal than the emerging countries. However, this data is relatively old (2006) and the important trend is that the gap between the rich and the poor is becoming wider & wider not only in the developing countries but also prominent in the advanced economies represented by the USA.
World Inequality Report 2018 indicates;
The global top 1% earners have captured twice as much of that growth as the 50% poorest individuals.World Inequality Lab Report 2018
Importantly, the middle class has been most squeezed;
Clearly, the Middle class where the majority of us belong to is decreasing more and more and many of middle-class people are facing the risk of dropping into low life.
Nevertheless, you may say “I have a daily job and earn enough money for living. Thus, I don’t need to work more for the second source of income”. However, let me stress that we live in uncertainties. Actually, 1 in 7 workers was made redundant during the last financial crisis (2008) in the UK.
Remember the impact of the recession in the UK was relatively mild among the developed countries. Only 20% of people made redundant could find a new job within 3 months, and 75% of them are paid less in the next job.
This is the harsh reality, and the economy is cyclical and the bubble will burst at any time out of the blue on top of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
It means your life is always exposed to the threat of losing a job. Still not convinced? Allow me to substantiate how the middle class should feel a pinch and a sense of urgency with further numbers & different perspectives.
Middle Class Is Really In Danger
World Inequality in Wealth Distribution
The above World Inequality Lab report says;
So, assuming that the current trend as business as usual continues, the projection of the middle-class wealth will be stagnant / declining.
Tax & Social Benefit – Not For Middle Class
Needless to say, the welfare benefit is for the lower class. The principle of the below US case shown in the chart applies more or less to many developed countries. And, people in the middle class will shout “How come someone earning $36 an hour can have a lower household income than someone earning $8 an hour.”;
So, lower-income class people are protected by social benefits, therefore you as the middle class tend to be most squeezed.
Uncertainties You Will Face
Uncertainty and fears of social decline and exclusion have reached the middle classes in many societies. The uncertainties in the middle class, especially in advanced countries, attribute to the gloomy job market as follows;
Globalization – Job Outsourcing
The IMF report (Finance and Development, A quarterly magazine of the IMF Vol.45) indicates the massive income transfer to poorest 30% population is happening, means advanced countries job are being outsourced to the developing countries.
Technologies – Robot will take over your job
Oxford University research summarizes (for details), among 702 occupations in 12 categories of total US employment, nearly 70% is at high to medium risk of getting replaced by robots over some unspecified number of years perhaps a decade or two.
The Latest OECD Report Confirms Middle classes losing out to ultra-rich
BBC summarized the latest OECD report by saying “the middle classes are being “hollowed out”, with declining chances of rising prosperity and growing fears of job insecurity.” It shows Middle-Class Dismal Growth as;
– Across OECD countries, which include most of the big economies in Western Europe and North America, 10% of highest earners have increased their income by a third more than middle earners
– In the UK, more than a third of middle-income households “report having difficulty making ends meet”, says the OECD
– In the United States over the past three decades, the top 1% of earners have increased their slice of total annual income from 11% to 20% “Middle incomes are barely higher today than they were 10 years ago,” says the analysis.BBC - Middle classes losing out to ultra-rich
It confirms middle-class households feel a sense of “unfairness” and are “increasingly anxious about their economic situation”.
Financial Security – Your Self Assessment
Assess Your Income Status In Your Society
Firstly, examine How Accurately You Grasp Your Income Status In Your Society. Wherever you live, just assess your Income in comparison with the rest of the population in your country and know the difference between What You Perceive & Reality.
Clicking OECD, which will navigate you to the below page;
Does your original perception match the reality? And, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the Top 1 % of Income, you may not need to assess further.
However, if you belong to the rest of the 99% population, then you may want to assess how you are secured for your retirement.
Spare Another 1 Minutes To Assess Yourself Further for Your Long Future!!!
Let’s Examine How Well You’re Ready For Your Retirement
Go To Fidelity Retirement Score, answer 6 simple questions then you will get the retirement score like below.
The underlying assumptions (inflation, social security & tax etc) of this software is based on US parameters thus your condition may differ though the objective here is not making an accurate simulation just trying to roughly assess how well you are fit for your future retirement life.
Therefore don’t take it seriously. If the score doesn’t reach On Target, it’s a sort of indication that you may need to improve some factor(s).
So, how did you assess your financial status?
It’s said that you need the contingency savings worth at least 6-month salary.
Otherwise, you will be in serious trouble when an unwelcome event such as job loss actually happens to you. Unless you’re happy-go-lucky person, it’s better to start making extra money conveniently e.g. online, as your Safety Net.
Yes, Diversify Your Income For A Rainy Day while you have a daily job.
So, how can you do it? Go 3 Clever Ways to Diversify Your Income for a Rainy Day.
Uncertainties & Why We Need To Diversify Our Income
“Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective” issued by IMF explains the key causes of Inequality, which is a good summary of the uncertainties we discussed;
One such factor is globalization which reinforces inequality, albeit a smaller one. We find that the rising skill premium—that is, the wage difference between skilled and unskilled workers—is associated with widening income disparity in advanced countries.
Financial deepening—or the expansion of bank credit and financial markets—is associated with rising inequality in emerging market and developing economies.
Technological change also plays a role, which can raise the demand for skilled labour over low-skilled labour by eliminating jobs through automation or upgrading the skill level required to keep those jobs.
The decline of some labour market institutions (such as lower trade union power) is another.
These factors help overall growth and productivity, but they also tend to boost inequality, at least in the absence of compensating measures.Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective
This trend will be expected to continue, and we have to prepare for that by diversification of our income.
3 Areas Human Have Advantage over Robot
Related to the technology, we talked about “Robot will take over your job”. But, is there any areas human has edge over the robot?
Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management describes 3 areas where humans have a distinct advantage over machines which are actually identical to Michael Osborne‘s paper as follows (BBC article);
“Creative endeavours: These include creative writing, entrepreneurship, and scientific discovery. These can be highly paid and rewarding jobs. There is no better time to be an entrepreneur with an insight than today, because you can use technology to leverage your invention.
Social interactions: Robots do not have the kinds of emotional intelligence that humans have. Motivated people who are sensitive to the needs of others make great managers, leaders, salespeople, negotiators, caretakers, nurses, and teachers. Consider, for example, the idea of a robot giving a half-time pep talk to a high school football team. That would not be inspiring. Recent research makes clear that social skills are increasingly in demand.
Physical dexterity and mobility: If you have ever seen a robot try to pick up a pencil you see how clumsy and slow they are, compared to a human child. Humans have millennia of experience hiking mountains, swimming lakes, and dancing & practice that gives them extraordinary agility and physical dexterity.”
I fully agree with the point that there is no better time to be an entrepreneur with insight than today because you can use technology to leverage your invention.
You’d better have a Plan B for financial safeguard and you don’t need to have massive capital or skill to start your side business but just to be an entrepreneur by using modern Technology Economically & Passively (via Forex Robot).
Incidentally CEO job is one of the least at risk being replaced by robots, FYI.
Joshua Walker (bio)
Editor – Global Extra Money (GEM)