Tags: COVID-19 | work from home | U.S. labor force trends

'The Great Resignation' Continues at Steady Levels

pink telephone message slip: I quit !

By    |   Thursday, 09 December 2021 10:10 AM EST

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday that 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in October, a number that nears the record high of September’s 4.4 million resignations.

While millions of Americans say, “I quit,” a seemingly contradictory trend is also taking place, as evidenced by jobs data, also from the Labor Department, Thursday morning. Fewer Americans are applying for unemployment benefits. In fact, it is at the lowest level in 52 years.

So, what is driving the other phenomenon, of record numbers of Americans quitting their jobs?

This so-called “Great Resignation” appears to be driven by employee burnout, disputes over pay, and the rise of remote work, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

In fact, the Great Resignation is impacting every sector across the labor market. State and local government workers (excluding education) are seeing the most employees quit, per Al Jazeera.

Workers Needed in Leisure & Hospitality

In other sectors, job openings rose by 251,000 to a total 1.8 million needed in leisure and hospitality; by 35,000 to another 1.8 million needed in professional and business services; and by 56,000 to 410,000 construction job openings, per USA Today. The numbers add fuel to the narrative that workers are increasingly flexing their muscle in today’s job market and are very prepared to leave their jobs if they feel work conditions are not satisfactory for them.

October job openings rose by 431,000 to 11 million open positions, according to The New York Times, and it is likely the ongoing pandemic is one of the root causes affecting these numbers. The October numbers mark the third consecutive month that employees quitting their jobs has been above 4 million, with August, September and October all showing an eye-popping number of employees making the changes for a new start.

In total, per over 20 million Americans have quit their jobs in the months between April and August, a huge number that does not yet include the most recent data, The Wall Steet Journal reports.

Wanting to work from home (WFH) may be the No. 1 reason why people leave a job, according to a Global Workplace Analytics and Owl Labs survey. Forty-six percent of American workers would take a pay cut of up to 5% to work from home—with 37% of respondents who worked from home during COVID shockingly answering that they would take a pay cut of 10% or more to WFH for the longer term.

The survey surprised in other ways, showing that a larger percentage of Americans, 34%, prefer WFH to returning full time to the office (29%).

Demanding Higher Pay

In addition to a desire for remote work, burnout and questions over pay are prompting more people to resign. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) now question if their pay is high enough, and 49% of executives report their company is experiencing higher than average turnover in employees.

Especially with 11 million jobs currently open in the U.S., all trends point to “The Great Resignation” continuing apace.

© 2024 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday that 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in October, a number that nears the record high of September's 4.4 million resignations.
COVID-19, work from home, U.S. labor force trends
Thursday, 09 December 2021 10:10 AM
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