‘Not retiring’ is becoming a new trend in the hot US job market.

A worker performs welding on a safe being manufactured at the Liberty Safe Company on March 22, 2022 in Payson, Utah.

George Frey | fake images

The covid pandemic sent more than 8 million workers on the sidelines at one point, including many people who decided the time was right to retire when the workplace, as they knew, faded from sight.

But with a thriving job market in which workers can virtually choose where to go, coupled with soaring inflation and Covid fears fading, some are finding it a good time to rethink their plans and return to the fold.

In fact, the level of workers who retired and then returned a year later hovers around 3.2%, almost where it was before the pandemic, after falling to around 2% during the worst days of Covid, according to calculations by the site. Indeed job placement.

“The non-retirement trend is emblematic of what we’re seeing in the broader labor market, which is seeing increased labor force participation for a wide swath of workers,” said Nick Bunker, director of economic research for North America. on Indeed.

Along with the other factors, Bunker said employers are increasing incentives to fill 11.5 million job openings. There are about 5.6 million more job openings than available workers, creating a strong power base for job seekers, regardless of age.

“Employers are taking steps to attract people. There is a high proportion of posts mentioning terms like hiring bonuses, retention bonuses,” Bunker said. “There are signs that employers are starting to attract people with bonuses like that.”

Also factored in is a much higher cost of living than two years ago.

Prices in March were up 8.5% from a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that higher cost of living poses a hardship for people living on fixed incomes.

“For people who previously retired and are now going back to work, it’s certainly having an impact,” Bunker said, though he added that he is “skeptical that it’s the main factor.” He pointed, for example, to conditions after the 2008 financial crisis, when retirees began to return even though inflation was nowhere near its current level.

For Tommy Benz, a former Verizon Wireless executive who retired from a position at Endurance International, going back to work was partly about a desire to keep busy, but also about loyalty to his high school alma mater.

Benz, a 54-year-old Mountain Top, Pa., resident, has been taking substitute teaching jobs recently as a way to help out Crestwood High School, which was in dire need of help in the classroom. The city is in the northeastern part of the state, about 110 miles north of Philadelphia.

“While being a backup wasn’t something I aspired to do when I retired, it was always in the back of my mind,” Benz said. “When I found out about the shortage they were facing, it became an easy decision.”

How many more people have returned to work will become a little clearer on Friday when the BLS releases its April Nonfarm Payrolls report.

The labor force participation rate was 62.4% in March, about a full percentage point above its pre-pandemic level but well below the April 2020 low of 60.2%. of the total workforce, after sinking by more than 8.2 million from February 2020 to April of the same year, is about 200,000 short of the pre-Covid state.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect payrolls to rise by 400,000 in April and the unemployment rate to fall to 3.5%, which would return it to its February 2020 level.

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