NORFOLK, Va. — According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 7.6 million Americans quit their jobs in April and May.
Those two months are the highest quit rates ever recorded.
Old Dominion University Professor of Economics Bob McNab points to a number of things causing the ‘Great Resignation,’ as its been called.
For one, the uncertainty during the pandemic is fading for many people.
“They’re basically saying, ‘I stayed in this job while things were bad. Things are better, I can get a higher wage, so I’m moving on,’” said McNab.
Quit rates are highest in restaurants, hotels, travel and tourism – industries that are desperate for workers.
But other industries are seeing an increase in resignations as well, partly because working remotely for so long was life changing.
“For hired tech workers, we’re seeing the resignation play out in a different way,” said McNab. “People aren’t chasing wages, they’re chasing amenities comfort and benefits.”
The worker shortage is still a near-term issue, but the resignation trend could spell good news for the economy long-term.
If more people are inspired to pursue new, possibly exciting interests, than job satisfaction goes up.
That, according to McNab, could equal an economic boost.