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No "Great Resignation" for Older Workers- Mass Job Loss Drove the Retirement Surge

Barbara Schuster and Siavash Radpour
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Siavash Radpour: Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA),

No 2022-01, SCEPA publication series. from Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School

Abstract: During the pandemic, many older workers did not leave their jobs voluntarily but got pushed out of the labor force. Since March 2020, the size of the retired population between ages 55 and 74 expanded beyond its normal trend by an additional 1.1 million people. While the above-trend retirement rate has fueled the narrative of a “great resignation†among older workers, our research indicates that most of these retirements occurred after periods of unemployment rather than directly from employment. Retirement after passage through unemployment is a departure from the common pre-pandemic retirement scenario and may be an indicator that many of these excess retirements were involuntary. As we emerge from the pandemic, it remains unclear whether retirees will un-retire and rejoin the labor force, but the special circumstances of their departure will likely play an important role in their decisions going forward.

Keywords: older workers; recession; COVID-19; coronavirus; unemployment; involuntary retirement; retirement; Older Workers Bureau; disparities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E24 J30 J38 J58 J60 J88 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-fdg and nep-mac
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