The age group slowest to return to the workforce

The pandemic resulted in fewer Americans actively seeking employment or being employed across all age groups, but those ages 55-64 appear to be among the slowest to return to the workforce, according to research released March 24 by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private, nonpartisan and nonprofit research institute.

The research is based on annual data for December (not seasonally adjusted) from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey, available through the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Five research findings:

1. Americans age 16 or older with a job as of December 2021 was 2.77 million fewer than December 2019.

2. Employment by those younger than 45 or age 65 and older rebounded to about their December 2019 levels by December 2021, with some slowness among those ages 25–34.

3. However, there was still an employment gap of more than 1 million Americans ages 45-54 and more than 800,000 Americans ages 55-64 by the end of 2021.

4. The percentage of Americans ages 16-24 working or actively seeking employment was higher among both males and females as of December 2021 compared to December 2019, with labor force rates in 2021 among those ages 25-34 comparable to 2019 levels.

5. However, the percentage of females ages 45-54 working or actively seeking employment as of December 2021 was below the level in December 2020.

The full report is available here

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