Banner image for The Great Resignation and Long-Term Unemployment on November 9, 2021

As the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, progress has been made to reduce the number of long-term unemployed workers. According to September 2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 2.7 million workers in the United States are long-term unemployed, and almost half of age 55+ job seekers are considered long-term unemployed. At the same time, a record 4.3 million US workers quit their jobs in August and 20 million workers have resigned if measured back to April, according to the Department of Labor. Meanwhile, the United States is facing a severe labor shortage.

Bringing workers, especially the long-term unemployed, back into the labor force will require a dedicated effort from governments, employers, and worker support organizations. Filling job openings and increased labor force participation rates are essential to the recovery of the US economy.

The Atlanta Fed and AARP examined current labor market issues and potential solutions for increasing labor market participation in this virtual event.