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Nearly 1 in 10 Americans Who Lost Their Jobs During COVID-19 Retired, According to New AARP Report

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En español | Millions of Americans at least temporarily lost their jobs in 2020 and 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic upended the economy and shuttered businesses across the country. A new survey from AARP found two-thirds of workers 45 and older who lost their jobs are now reemployed. But more than 1 in 4 (26 percent) still haven't found a job, and nearly 1 in 10 (8 percent) retired.

Of those who retired, more than 7 in 10 (72 percent) said the pandemic at least partly contributed to their decision. Thirty-three percent of COVID retirees say they plan to work again, with 27 percent expecting to have a job again within the next year.

The survey was conducted for AARP by researchers at NORC at the University of Chicago, who spoke with more than 3,600 adults at least 45 years old between June 29 and July 25. They also found that 40 percent of people 45 and up — and 62 percent of people 55 and up — who lost a job during the pandemic believe they encountered age discrimination as they searched for a new position.

The findings align with other AARP studies that suggest age discrimination is alive and well despite federal and state laws designed to mitigate it. Nearly 8 in 10 respondents to a recent AARP survey between the ages of 40 and 65 said they have either seen or personally experienced age discrimination in the workplace, which is the highest percentage we’ve seen since we started polling older adults about it in 2003.

Read the full report, and learn more about how AARP is fighting age discrimination.

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