A worker grinds a weld on a safe manufactured at Liberty Safe Company March 22, 2022 in Payson, Utah.
George Frey | Getty Images
The Covid pandemic has at one point marginalized more than 8 million workers, including many people who decided it was the right time to retire given the job they knew was not disappeared from sight.
But with a thriving job market that gives workers virtually the freedom to choose where to go, coupled with rising inflation and easing Covid fears, some are finding it’s a good time to reconsider their plans and get back in to go on the knees.
In fact, the number of workers who retired and returned a year later is around 3.2%, about what it was before the pandemic, having dropped to around 2% in the worst days of Covid , according to calculations by the employment agency Indeed.
“The trend towards retirement is emblematic of what we’re seeing across the labor market, which is showing increasing labor force participation for a broad group of workers,” said Nick Bunker, economic research director for North America at Indeed.
Along with the other factors, Bunker said, employers are increasing incentives to fill 11.5 million vacancies. There are approximately 5.6 million more vacancies than available workers, creating a strong power base for job seekers regardless of age.
“Employers are taking steps to attract people. There’s an increased proportion of job postings that mention terms like hiring bonuses or retention bonuses,” Bunker said. “There are signs that employers are starting to attract people with bonuses like this.”
In addition, the cost of living is significantly higher than two years ago.
Prices rose 8.5% year over year in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and this higher cost of living poses a major challenge for people living on fixed incomes.
“For people who used to be retired and are now back to work, it certainly has an impact,” Bunker said, although he added that he’s “skeptical that it’s the main factor.” For example, he pointed to conditions after the 2008 financial crisis, when retirees returned, even though inflation was far from where it is today.
For Tommy Benz, a former Verizon Wireless executive who retired from a position at Endurance International, coming back to work was a little about a desire to stay busy, but also a loyalty to his high school Alma mater.
Benz, a 54-year-old resident of Mountain Top, Pa., recently accepted a job as a substitute teacher to help out Crestwood High School, which was in dire need of classroom help. The city is in the northeast of the state, about 110 miles north of Philadelphia.
“While coming on was not something I aspired to do in retirement, it was always in the back of my mind,” said Benz. “When I learned of the shortage they were facing, the decision became easy for me.”
How many more people have returned to work will become a little clearer on Friday when the BLS releases its April nonfarm payrolls report.
The labor force participation rate was 62.4% in March, about a full percentage point above pre-pandemic levels but well below the April 2020 low of 60.2%. The overall labor force participation rate, having risen by more than 8.2 million since February 2020 by April of the same year, it is about 200,000 fewer than in the pre-Covid state.
Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the workforce to have risen by 400,000 in April and the unemployment rate to have fallen to 3.5%, which would bring it back to February 2020 levels.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/05/unretirement-is-becoming-a-hot-new-trend-in-the-sizzling-us-labor-market.html “Unretirement” is emerging as a hot new trend in the sizzling US job market