The American dream to work hard, save hard, and then play hard in retirement is turning into a nightmare. Thank you, Joe Biden. Many Americans are needing to back out of retirement because of the impact inflation is having on our everyday lives.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics information reveals that the number of retired seniors in the workforce rose from 28.3 million in February 2020 to 31.6 million in October 2021. What we are seeing with higher prices, a tight job market, and economic challenges is forcing many in our country into “unretirement.”
According to “Indeed,” as of March 2022, about 3.2% of workers who were retired in the Spring of 2021 are not employed. The crisis surrounding COVID-19, including the lockdown with economic chaos causing price levels to increase at 8.5%, has generated a once-in-a-generation inflation surge.
“Indeed” reported, “It is hard to rule out the influence of waning concerns about the pandemic and faster inflation, and they are surely factors. But it’s not clear that they are the main reasons.”
According to the Federal Reserve, between October 2021 and March 2022, there were close to 1 million Americans that returned to the workforce. And during those same months, inflation increased another 2.3% after it has risen 1.4% in January of 2021.
When you factor in that the rise in prices far outpaced any normal increases in pay, there was almost a 3% decrease in real wages. So the average American began to struggle to pay for essentials like food, gas, and housing.
According to a recent poll, 94% of the people in the United States were either “upset” or “concerned” with rising inflation. As that number was rising, President Joe Biden’s approval rating was plummeting. Only 28% of the population approved of the president’s handling of the economy.
And the experts are not expecting relief any time soon. David Rubenstein, a major investor, said on Fox News, “Inflation, as we all know, when it gets in the system, it’s very hard to get it out. It takes a long time to get it out, can take a couple of years.” He went further to state that he did not believe the inflation rate this year would drop significantly this year.
Bill Lee, a chief economist for the Milken Institute, said that he believes inflation would be well over 3.5% for the next five years.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that Inflation is “much too high.” He said, “We understand the hardship it is causing, and we’re moving expeditiously to bring it back down. We have both the tools we need and the resolve that it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families and businesses.”
In order to attempt to stop rising price levels, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates by a half-point this week. This was the highest rate increase since May of 2000.
Employers have been forced to create incentives to fill 11.5 million job openings. There are so many more vacancies than there are available workers, so badly stretched retirees on fixed incomes are gravitating back into employment.
The numbers relating to this trend will be even more clear later this week when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the non-farm payroll report for April.
Many suspect that the numbers will reveal that more Americans who were living the dream are once again setting their alarm clocks for a hard day’s back in the job force. Again, thank you, Joe Biden.