What is the Great Resignation?
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A worldwide resignation is happening and forming a global trend.
Nearly 100 years after the great depression, an event that saw a quarter of Americans unemployed, we are now seeing another global trend that engulfs the working class — mass resignation.
Coronavirus has spurred major lockdowns in which people have had to adjust to new working situations. Working from home and in some cases not really working at all, have given US workers space to ponder if they want their current job.
Some have already taken the leap and switched companies. Some have even switched career lines. Firms are now confused as they can no longer hunt for talent using the incentive of higher pay. Workers are looking at other factors such as work culture and flexible schedules.
What does the Great Resignation look like in numbers?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor statistics, job openings in the U.S have skyrocketed.
Have a look at the data below.
If you compare the second half of 2021 with the second half of 2020, you can clearly see the biggest increase so far within the last ten years.
A study by Pew Research Center shows that low pay, lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected form some of the top reasons for Americans quitting their jobs in 2021.
Not all data agrees with these findings. A study by MIT Sloan review analyzed 34 million online employee profiles and 1.4 million Glassdoor profiles. In a plethora of findings, one major discovery was that employees left their companies for reasons such as toxic work culture, job insecurity and high levels of innovation.
The study by MIT Sloan review has a ton of insights into the great recession. You can find more at Toxic Culture Is Driving the Great Resignation (mit.edu)
What has caused the great resignation?
On a broader level, the pandemic has given people time to ponder their work-life balance. With the transition to remote locations, people are now looking at factors beyond office location such as work culture, schedules and job opportunities.
Even factors such as job prestige are not good enough incentives. An article by Sateesh Nori talks about how attrition is higher than ever in public interest law firms in New York. Some of the reasons for employees leaving include political aspirations, relocation, writing a book and switching jobs to teaching law. You can find the article at The great resignation: nonprofit law edition | Reuters
Looking at all this, it seems as if neither pay, nor status can encourage U.S employees to stay where they are.