Retirees Looking to Reenter Workforce, AARP CEO Tells ‘The Washington Post’

Jo Ann Jenkins gives remarks at the World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum / Ciaran McCrickard

The wave of retirements during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have reversed course, with “many people who had retired … looking to move back into the workforce amid greater demand for workers,” AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins told The Washington Post in an interview published Friday.

The pandemic sparked a mass wave of retirements, as workers found themselves out of a job or motivated to step away and spend more time with their families and loved ones. An estimated 25 percent of U.S. adults who retired between May 2021 and May 2022 — and 15 percent of those who retired one to two years earlier — said COVID-19 contributed to their decision to leave the workforce, according to a report published last month by the Federal Reserve.

But that tide appears to have turned. As of March, more than 3 percent of people who were retired a year ago had returned to the workforce, according to data from Indeed Hiring Lab. And 68 percent of 2,000 respondents to a recent CNBC poll who are currently retired said they’d consider taking a job if it was the right opportunity.

Jenkins’ comments came in an interview tied to AARP being named one of The Washington Post’s top workplaces in the Washington, D.C. area. Jenkins was one of four CEOs interviewed to discuss labor trends, remote work and how employers and workforces have managed through two years of pandemic.

Read Jenkins’ full interview, see the other companies that made the top-workplace list, and learn how AARP is fighting for retirees and retirement savings.

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