In August, monthly U.S. mortality figures for people ages 25 to 64 looked about the same as the figures for earlier months.
This month, there are early signs that the death rate for people in the age group traditionally thought of as working age may be getting worse, even in some states that have taken aggressive steps to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has hit people ages 65 and older, but it has also increased the death rate for people ages 25 through 64 sharply over the usual levels.
The mortality rate for working-age people is of keen interest to life insurers, because people in that age group are more likely than older people to have life insurance and disability insurance.
COVID-19′s impact on the total number of deaths may be even more important to insurers than the direct effect of the pandemic on mortality: For insurers, the number of deaths caused by the effects of COVID-19 on health care facilities, and the number of deaths caused by the effects of contagion control efforts on people’s financial and psychological well-being, may have the same effect on claims as deaths caused directly by COVID-19.
An analysis of preliminary state mortality figures from the National Center for Health Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that about 16,815 people in the 25-64 age group may have died in the week ending Sept. 4.
That total, which is based on data that CDC analysts tried to adjust for state vital statistics reporting delays, was down from 17,145 for the week ending Aug. 7, four weeks earlier.
The first adjusted mortality figures released for a week tend to look low because of reporting delays not reflected in the CDC adjustments.
In 10 states, even the current, incomplete data show that the weekly number of deaths of working-age people from all causes rose more than 13% between the first week of August and the first week of September.
For a look at those 10 states, see the slideshow above.
One of the states in the slideshow, for example, is Texas, which may have recorded about 1,565 deaths of people ages 25 through 64 for the week ending Aug. 7, and 1,887 deaths of people in that age group for the week ending Sept, 4, according to the adjusted CDC figures.
In 2019, Texas reported 1,051 deaths of people ages 25 through 64 for the first week of August, and 1,069 for the first week of September.
For data for the first week of this past August and the first week of September for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, see the table below.
Deaths of People Ages 25-64, From All Causes
|Number of deaths||Change|
|Week ending Aug. 7||Week ending Sept. 11||Time Period|
|District of Columbia||31||34||10%|
|New York City||346||364||5%|
|Source: The CDCD’s National Center for Health Statistics, Weekly Counts of Deaths by Jurisdiction and Age.|
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