We’ve seen a lot of trends and unusual occurrences in the past year or so. This is particularly aplicable to businesses.
While a lot of companies closed thier doors - some permanently - others thrived.
We saw unprecedented growth in companies like Doordash, and other food delivery services, that capitalized on brick-and-mortar restaurants affected by the pandemic rules. Other online services like Amazon and Zoom cashed in on the unique circumstances too.
One area that hasn’t received a lot of attention is retirement.
New census data shows a greater share of workers over 65 bucked recent trends—they made the decision to retire. For decades the retirement rate in the U.S. had been steadily declining, until last year.
During what’s now being called the COVID Recession, there were a lot of companies flailing to survive, and as a result they were forced to lay off many workers. Particularly, and understandably, older workers may have seen this as a sign to exit the workforce permanently. Imagine being only a few years from your “planned-for” retirement and you wake up one morning only to find out that the economy has come to a grinding halt and you’re out of a job.
Retirement sounds like a decent option, given these circumstances.
It is estimated that as many as 7.7 million American workers lost their employment in the first few months of the pandemic, and over the past year, one might be accurate in assuming that number to have increased greatly as an increasing number of businesses felt the squeeze.
The retirement numbers don’t hold true across the boards though. For older folks who were particularly at risk from the virus, many of those in the upper income brackets opted to leave the labor force — which makes sense. If you can afford it, then why not take the cue and call it a day? COVID saw an increase of five percent of higher earning retirees aged 62 and above, compared with only a one percent increase by those in the lower income brackets.
The bottom line is that while recessions hurt older workers generally, low earners suffer more than their higher-earning counterparts. And, low earners, as a group, fared slightly worse in the COVID Recession than they did in the Great Recession. The interesting result is that high earners (ages 62+) retired in greater numbers during the COVID Recession than they did in the Great Recession.
But just like the 2008 crash, as the COVID Recession eases off, there is an increase in the number of jbs avianle and signs of an economic recovery. It now looks like the labor market is heating up and more opportunities and higher wages could lure some retired folks back to work.
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