What is the “Great Unretirement?”

Posted: October 10, 2022

The “Great Unretirement,” is an interesting trend that has emerged during the post-Covid labor market where once-retired workers are returning to the workforce in droves. Here are a few stats from a recent “Hiring Lab” survey, regarding the “Great Unretirement” that is underway:

  • As of March 2022, 3.2% of workers who “retired” last year are employed once again, which is a significant increase from the 2% unretirement rate during Covid.
  • About 7.5% of retirees reported that are looking for a job, a 2.9% year-over-year increase.
  • Approximately 68% of workers who retired during the pandemic report that they would consider going back to work.

What is driving this new “Unretirement” trend?

  • Battered financial markets have left retirees with severely dented retirement funds to the extent that approximately 25% of workers who were planning to retire in the near term have had to delay their plans. An additional 1.5 million retirees have been forced to go back to work due to financial issues.
  • Soaring inflation has greatly increased the cost of living, so retirees are looking for extra income to offset it.
  • The thriving labor market offers many new and exciting career opportunities for retirees. Some of them have returned to the same field while others are trying out new career fields.
  • Workers who retired due to health concerns during the pandemic are returning to the workforce now that the risk has diminished.
  • Retirees are attracted to the more flexible “hybrid” work options that many employers are currently offering.
  • Some retirees get bored in retirement and decide to return to the workplace for new challenges.

Overall, the “Great Unretirement” trend is a positive one for the tight labor market and employers should not overlook this important, hardworking group.

If you have questions regarding the state of the recruiting and hiring market, please contact our Client Ninjas at (877) 360-4636.