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As today's economy fluctuates, workers are dealing with the impact of inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic. They are faced with weighing the pros and cons of staying in their current jobs, moving to new jobs, or exiting the workforce altogether. Balancing the need for adequate compensation, benefits, flexibility, and opportunity for growth all weigh into the equation.

To understand changes from January to July 2022, we fielded the second wave of the AARP Work & Jobs Data Series survey on the Great Resignation among adults age 50-plus. Results show that one in ten (9%) retired from work or a job since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Little has changed since the first wave, with one in six adults (17%) reporting that they retired earlier than planned because of the pandemic.

Money seems to be a key driver of job change among adults ages 50-plus, with a third reporting that they need the money (34%) and a quarter saying they want to receive higher pay (26%). In fact, the top reason for leaving or considering leaving is low pay or feeling undervalued and being near retirement age.

Pull factors continue to be stronger than push factors as far as looking for or finding a new job, especially with people thinking they can find a job with better pay (38%). Other reasons for leaving or considering leaving a job include believing they could find a job that had opportunity for growth (19%), that was better aligned with their passions (18%), and that offered flexibility on when (17%) and where they work (15%). 

Almost a fifth of adults ages 50-plus report that they are working from home more now (18%) than before the COVID-19 pandemic, while about the same number report that nothing has changed regarding where they work (21%), and nearly half never worked from home.

Among those who are working remotely, ending work for the day, since work and home are in the same location, continues to be a struggle for well over a third of adults ages 50-plus (36%). Interestingly, the percentage of those who say that juggling work and caring for others is difficult has dropped significantly since Wave 1 (29% to 21%), suggesting that adults ages 50-plus are learning how to balance work and family needs. Other challenges remain for about one in four who report having difficulty with being isolated from coworkers (29%) or staying focused on their work (25%).

Read the Detailed Findings

Wave 1: January 2022

Wave 2: September 2022

Work & Jobs Data Series: Current Workforce Trends Among the 50+


About the Series

In 2022, AARP Research began sharing workforce trends on a variety of topics as they relate to workers age 50 and over. A new topic is highlighted every two months, and data for each topic are gathered through a nationally representative online survey with results posted in an annotated questionnaire. Each survey topic will be refielded every six to eight months to gather trend data. 

Results will be available for public use. 


Wave 1: Interviews were conducted December 14–27, 2021. A general population sample of 3,685 U.S. adults age 50-plus wwas surveyed using NORC's AmeriSpeak Panel, with oversamples of African American/Black adults (n=612) and Hispanic/Latino adults (n=1,314). Interviews were conducted online and via phone. All data are weighted by age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, housing tenure, telephone status, and Census Division. 

Wave 2: Interviews were conducted July 21–26, 2022 and August 18–23, 2022 among 3,044 U.S. adults age 50-plus using the Foresight 50+ Omnibus, with oversamples of African American/Black adults (n=908) and Hispanic/Latino adults (n=486). Funded and operated by NORC at the University of Chicago, Foresight 50+ is a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. household population age 50 or older. Interviews were conducted online and via phone. All data are weighted by gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, region, and AARP membership.

For more information about this survey, please contact Lona Choi-Allum at  For media inquiries, contact External Relations at

Suggested citations:

Perron, Rebecca. Understanding the Great Resignation and Impact of COVID-19 on Work for the 50+ (Wave 1). Washington, DC: AARP Research, January 2022.

Choi-Allum, Lona. Understanding the Great Resignation and Impact of COVID-19 on Work for the 50+ (Wave 2). Washington, DC: AARP Research, September 2022.