The Great Rehirement.

July 6, 2022

The Great Rehirement.

May 29, 2023

What a difference a decade makes. One out of every four American employees aged 50 and older lost their job in the Great Recession in 2008. And, it took older workers two to three times longer to find a new job during the next few years. This sudden reality created a “confidence gap” for many midlife workers.

When the deep, immediate recession associated with the 2020 pandemic came along, many jobs were lost. However, this time, many older workers—with more than ten years of tenure—were at the leading edge of the Great Resignation. Roughly 2.4 million additional Americans retired in the first 18 months of the pandemic, making up most of the 4.2 million people who left the labor force between March 2020 and July 2021. Many HR execs lamented that they were losing so much institutional wisdom from these mass retirements.

Yet, an estimated 1.5 million retirees have re-entered the U.S. labor market over the past year. That means the economy has made up most of the extra losses of retirees since February 2020. Recently, the Wall Street Journal interviewed people in their 50s who were heading back into the workforce, some to shore up finances and others because they were bored and isolated. According to the Journal, three percent of total retirees are re-entering the workforce, the highest level since 2020. The share of people 75 and older in the labor force is expected to grow by 96 percent over the next decade, while those 16 to 24 years old will shrink by 7.5 percent.

Are you someone who needed to care for a loved one with Covid or was worried about your own health during the past couple of years but is now ready to go back to work? Check out websites like Retirementjobs.com and Workforce50.com, which are aimed at older Americans. Consider going back to a past employer and offering your services part-time, as many companies are understaffed these days. These folks are now called Boomerang Employees, and this tendency to return to one’s former employer is especially popular with Boomers. Chuckle, chuckle.

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