Americans are leaving retirement due to inflation and a tight job market, according to data released last month by job platform Indeed.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the number of retired seniors surged from 28.3 million in February 2020 to 31.6 million in October 2021, however, higher price levels and other economic challenges are now forcing Americans into “unretirement.”
Indeed reported that as of March 2022, roughly 3.2% of workers who were retired a year earlier are now employed.
Indeed said that a decrease and subsequent rebound in unretirement has precedent. During the Financial Crisis of 2007 to 2009 — the last major recession to impact the United States — workers were enticed out of retirement as the labor market became more lucrative.
Yet consumer price inflation rates after the Financial Crisis mostly stayed within range of the Federal Reserve’s long-term 2% target — briefly spiking to nearly 4% in 2011 before returning to relatively stable levels. The aftermath of COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced economic trouble, however, has been marked by once-in-a-generation inflation surges. As of March 2022, consumer price levels are increasing at an 8.5% rate.