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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.
Workers in the U.S. are currently experiencing one of the most favorable labor markets in years. The unemployment rate has climbed back to pre-pandemic levels, but around 11.5 million jobs were open as of early spring, a historic high. With so many open positions readily available, more workers have felt confident in seeking new jobs, setting off what has come to be known as the “Great Resignation.” And because workers are in high demand, more employers are offering higher pay and other perks to attract talent, and wages are rising more rapidly than they have in 40 years.
Many of the unique current conditions in the labor market have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The labor force participation rate remains below pre-pandemic levels. Certain industries, like retail and hospitality, have been especially challenged by COVID-19 outbreaks, and these fields have been among those struggling most to fill vacancies as workers seek better pay and working conditions.
But even outside of the current environment, the U.S. economy has been seeing major shifts in the working population and the types of positions in demand, now and in the future.
One of the most significant forces reshaping the U.S. labor market is the aging of the population. As the baby boomer generation has aged, the share of older workers has increased steadily over time. The number of workers aged 55 and over more than doubled from 18.7 million in 2000 to 37.9 million in 2020, with an additional…
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