About 2.6 million baby boomers retired above ordinary trends since the start of the COVID pandemic two years ago, according to a Bloomberg report, which cites estimates from The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Pandemic surges in stock and real estate values made it an opportune time for some workers to step out of the labor force, data scientist Lowell Ricketts told Bloomberg. But, remote and hybrid work is attracting some to return back to the job market, especially amid high inflation.
The process of retiring, then returning back to work again, has been coined “unretirement,” and the rates of this phenomenon are rising, rebounding to its pre-pandemic level of about 3%.
To measure unretirement, surveyors ask people if they’ve retired, wait a year, and then check back in to see if they’ve reentered the labor force.
Despite more people “unretiring”, those numbers won’t do much to alleviate the labor shortage, according to a new Center for Retirement Research of Boston College paper, “Will Unretirement Help Solve the Labor Shortage?”
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