The Great Resignation is here to stay

Bernardo Montes de Oca
December 14, 2021

In April 2021, the United States saw a record number of people quitting their jobs. It was a higher number than any month on record. Then came July, and even more people chose to leave their jobs. August topped that number, and September, again, had an unprecedented number. We're witnessing the Great Resignation and, though it started months ago, it's until now that experts have been able to grasp the reasons why it's happening. Most importantly, companies now understand what they must do to keep motivation up and avoid attrition.

First, let's talk about the phenomenon itself. The main issue with how the media has tackled the Great Resignation is that it hasn't analyzed the situation in-depth. News coverage loves relating burnout in white-collar workers with this Big Quit when it isn't this way. So, who is leading this great resignation? Surveys from Cid Gallup show workers in lower-wage service work are a big part of this massive defection.

A chart explaining the Great Resignation, where there is a clear spike in the unemployment rate, with an increase in the quits rate

Who’s quitting in the Great Resignation?

Look at the food-services and accommodation sector, which has seen more quits than any other part of the economy. This leads us to the part that is essential to understanding the Great Resignation, and that is that, in reality, the industry isn't losing jobs at a breakneck speed. In fact, it has added 2 million in 2021.

Let's zoom out from the hotel and restaurant industry and look at why people are quitting. Surveys have indicated that pay is still essential in keeping people happy. So, is the need for a new challenge and better perks. All these are logical, but they're not new. Perhaps, there's a more significant reason, and that's where you as an employer come in.

These past two years have changed how people see life and work. Employees want the certainty that, in the face of how unpredictable the future can be, companies will do their best to ensure a healthy balance between new challenges, stability, and, yes, better pay. As for the great resignation that we're seeing, let's rebrand it to something like the Great Turnover and, most importantly, let's accept that it's probably going to shape how people see jobs for a long time to come.

Bernardo Montes de Oca
Content creator in love with writing in all its forms, from scripts to short stories to investigative journalism, and about almost every topic imaginable. From start-ups to nature, from literature to aviation. Hearing impaired, so let’s talk loud and clear.
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