More older workers exiting the labor market, says Stevenson

August 10, 2021 Bloomberg

The U.S. labor force continues to evolve as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Betsey Stevenson, professor of public policy and economics, explained how and why it has transformed in a recent Bloomberg interview.

"We saw labor force participation of older workers, workers over 55, really plummet in this pandemic. And we’re not seeing it budge, it’s not recovering at all," Stevenson said. "It is the case in every recession, when older workers leave the labor force, they are unlikely to come back in. What is different in this recession is normally not that many people leave. If you look at the 2008 recession, we saw labor force participation of those older workers actually rise. More people stayed in the labor market, continued to work as they aged in the last recession than people exited. This time, there are a lot of exits. I think those will be the hardest people to pull back."