The Great Retirement: Have Baby Boomers Really Left the Labor Market? Maybe not

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Millions of older workers left the labor force at the start of the pandemic, but few indicated that this movement was permanent. The Washington Post said most have yet to tap into their Social Security benefits, saying in surveys they may be able to get back into the workforce after COVID subsides, or they may be waiting for better pay or a job. greater flexibility.

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The number of Americans over 55 fell 6 percentage points to 33.3% in March and April 2020, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “It may not mean pastured anymore,” Robert Laura, a social worker-turned-financial planner who runs a retirement training program, told The Washington Post. “It may mean taking a break.”

According to a report by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, older workers who could do their jobs from home were less likely to leave the workforce, as were those with college degrees. Reservations about returning to work were also similar to the concerns of younger employees, such as public health risks and improvements to their workplace.

“There are workers who are available under the right circumstances, but clearly we haven’t done enough to bring them back yet,” said Gal Wettstein, senior research economist at the center and co-author of the report. , to the Dallas Morning News. .

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AARP noted that the longer the pandemic drags on, the less likely it is that those with substantial savings and who have retired will join the workforce. However, if conditions improve, some retirees, especially those with little savings, may decide to re-enter the labor market.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based in Ohio where she attended Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and her fiancé. His work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

Michael A. Bynum