Millions of older Americans retired early during the pandemic. According to a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, roughly 2.4 million more people retired in the first 18 months of the pandemic, representing the majority of the 4.2 million people who exited the labor force between March 2020 and July 2021. This trend fueled the Great Resignation and contributed to the ongoing labor shortage, putting stress on employers and the economy.
More recent statistics show that over the past year, over 1.5 million retirees have now “un-retired” and reentered the labor market, making up for a large percentage of the prior losses.
This “Great Reversal” reveals an interesting new trend – and an opportunity for employers looking to refuel their businesses with experienced, qualified, and motivated employees.
Once upon a time, when a person retired, it was because they were ready to stop working and never look back. The choices available were to either retire or keep working at an office job that required strict working hours, travel, and long commutes. Today, retirees have a more appealing choice. They can retire or return to jobs that are more accommodating and flexible, require less travel, and allow employees to set their own hours.
This desire to bounce back into the workforce comes at a time when employers are still struggling to attract and keep workers of all ages. And therein lies the big opportunity. There’s never been a better time to hire older workers. During the pandemic, they didn’t always retire by choice. Many quit for fear of getting covid, and others were laid off. They are now ready to un-retire and want to continue to use their minds and skills for employers who value their experience.
It’s important to underscore that many older workers are returning to work because they want to, not because they have to, which means they are motivated to make an impact. Beyond motivation, they bring years of experience and business knowledge. They can easily tap into years of personal and professional knowledge to confidently solve problems and serve your customers – customers who are increasingly starved for attentive, knowledgeable customer service.
More employers are already making efforts to recruit retirees by posting jobs at senior centers and retirement-specific job boards. Retirees, it seems, are becoming a targeted and desired population, which is very different from the last recession, when older workers faced extreme discrimination in the labor market.
Now is the perfect time to pursue reliable, solid workers with years of experience who are ready to un-retire. Here at WAHVE, we make hiring easy by connecting you with a pre-qualified nationwide pool of insurance industry talent that is specifically matched to your unique needs. Ready to find the perfect match? Hire a wahve today.