Sometimes building customer loyalty is interrupted by external factors, such as the recent economic downturn that has resulted in job loss. In attempting to interpret what is going on with consumers it is helpful to look at job loss statistics by both gender and age groups. If there has been some decline in consumer spending, is it because the targeted consumer falls into a gender or age bracket that has been more impacted by the economic slowdown? This type of data is difficult to get from customer survey research.
Analyzing the loss in employment statistics available on www.bls.gov from March 2008 to March 2009 there are 3 findings that help our understanding of what could be going on with consumer spending, as well as where retailers may need to refine their current customer segmentation approaches.
1. The only age group where that has been a net gain in employment is the 55+ category.
2. Males have been more impacted by job loss than Females. As seen in the adjacent pie chart, almost three-quarters of the job loss among age groups 18-54 have been among Males.
3. As illustrated on the bar graph below, for both Males and Females the age group most impacted by job loss are 35-44 year-olds. However, whereas for Males this group represents 34% of those who have lost their job in the past year, it jumps to 55% for Females.
Vice President Client Services