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Retirees Are One Reason the Fed Has Given Up on a Big Employee Rebound

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It took until late 2010 for people between the ages of 55 and 69 to recuperate to their late-2007 wealth levels, based on Fed data. This time, an early-2020 hit had been fully recovered by June 2020. Financial wealth for that age group now stands about 20 percent above where it was headed into the pandemic, despite a recent market swoon.

And while inflation is eroding spending power, Social Security payments are price-adjusted, which takes among the sting away.

The Liebermans in Pennsylvania, as an example, could return to work part time in the event that they needed to — but they don’t expect to want to.

“Unless inflation went really ballistic, I feel we’d be OK,” Mr. Lieberman said.

To be certain, while retirements could help keep employees in brief supply across America, other aspects could bolster the work force. Immigration, as an example, is rebounding.

And a few data paint a more optimistic picture of the labor force: Monthly payroll figures from the Labor Department, that are based on a survey that’s separate from the demographic statistics, show that firms have continued so as to add jobs rapidly despite their complaints a few employee shortage.

“Listening to Jerome Powell discuss labor supply, he seems resigned to the concept that there’s nothing left,” said Nick Bunker, economic research director for North America on the Indeed Hiring Lab. “There are more employees on the market who can get hired and wish to get hired.”

But central bankers should make best guesses about what is going to come next, and, to date, they’ve determined that a rise in labor supply sufficiently big to chill down the recent labor market is unlikely.

“For the near term, a moderation of labor demand growth can be required to revive balance to the labor market,” Mr. Powell said last month.

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