According to job website Indeed.com, 1.7 million people who retired during the pandemic are employed again. Some are calling this “The Great Unretirement.” Meanwhile, there’s been a shift in more teens and younger adult employees heading to work as well.
Last month, about 55% of young people aged 16 to 24 were employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up from about 54% one year ago, and around 47% two years ago.
“You can look at the margins of the workforce to see what’s happening in the mainstream of the workforce,” economist Rebecca Ryan said. “We’ve been talking about this shortage for a long time — two job openings for every one person entering. So what do employers do? They get really creative.”
They’ve started asking themselves — “How can we bring in those who are still on the sidelines?” Ryan said. “So that’s some of what you’re seeing.”
One of the reasons retirees in particular are looking for jobs is because they’re on fixed incomes, which Ryan says are very sensitive to inflation. While inflation did go down in July from its 40-year peak of 9.1%, it still remains high at 8.5%.
“We’re going to continue to see ripples in these margins,” Ryan said. “It’s a crazy story in the economy right now.”
When working together, it’s important for both older and younger people to remember: different generations work in different ways, career expert Andrew Challenger said.
“You just have to be sensitive to it. When you’re coming in as an older worker, be sensitive that you might not know all the new technology that the younger workers are really native in, and you have to sometimes go rely on their expertise,” Challenger said. “And younger workers need to know that the older workers have a great depth of experience that they can rely on.”