The data that shows Boomers are to blame for the labor shortage

A version of this story appeared in CNN Business' Nightcap newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free, here. One of the more insidious myths making the rounds this year was that young people didn't want to work because they were getting by just fine on government aid. People had too much money, went the narrative from a handful of politicians and pundits. Only trouble is, the numbers don't back it up.
Here's the thing: Early retirement — whether forced by the pandemic or made possible otherwise — is having a huge impact on the labor market. And data show that retiring boomers, far more than "lazy" millennials, are the biggest force behind the labor shortage. People have left the workforce for myriad reasons in the past two years. But among those who have left and are least likely to return, the vast majority are older Americans who accelerated their retirement. Last month, there were 3.6 million more Americans who had left the labor force and said they didn't want a job compared with November 2019. A whopping 90% of them were over 55. There are few reasons why this is the case.
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