Pandemic Heightens Exodus of Baby Boomers from Workforce

Several articles have been written about the increasing number of retiring Baby Boomers during the past few years. The middle range of Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) born between 1955 to 1956 have reached or will reach full social security retirement age of 65 to 66 and 3 months. The Pew Research Center completed and released some studies on the rise of Baby Boomer retirements in 2020 and 2021.

Based on Pew’s research, Baby Boomer retirements were 3.2 million more in the third quarter of 2020 than the same quarter of 2019. More recently, during the first quarter of 2021, 30.3 million Baby Boomers report that they were out of the workforce due to retirement.

The COVID pandemic heightened the exodus of Baby Boomers from the workforce due to layoffs and discharges associated with business closures and reductions. Baby Boomers are not returning to the workplace because they have run the numbers, rolled the dice and made the decision to stay home for financial, medical, family and personal reasons.

Baby Boomers returning to work in 2021 are filling previous full-time positions and some are opting for part-time positions so they can share knowledge and mentor the upcoming workforce generations.

Business owners and executive leadership teams have about nine more years for the remaining Baby Boomers to make their final decade of workforce contributions. Plans for knowledge and skills transfer, mentoring and taking-initiative training will be critical for business success and talent development as the Baby Boomers exit to spend time on the beach, in our national parks and forests, and with their families.


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