More Americans quit jobs in recent months than ever before

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 5:41 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the country grapples with a hiring crisis, part of the problem is that millions of Americans are quitting their jobs. Experts are now calling it “The Great Resignation.”

With so many positions open, many burnt-out employees are starting to leave their jobs in hopes of something better.

Brian Schmidt, with the Glen Allen-based hiring website called ‘Snagajob,’ says there has been a massive transfer of power from the employer to the employees.

That’s because workers now have so many options dangling in front of them that could offer better benefits and better wages.

On Friday, the Department of Labor announced that 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September or about 3% of the nation’s workforce. That’s far above the pre-pandemic level of 3.6 million.

“I think that just demonstrates like a bit of shift in power dynamics from employers to employees,” Schmidt said. “Great employers now need to think about how they operate in this new world.”

As the holiday season rolls around, the issue may get worse before it gets better.

“This is traditionally a big hiring time and a big hiring crunch for employers look to staff up roles,” Schmidt said. “They’re having a hard time filling those roles across the board.”

The number of available jobs has topped 10 million for four consecutive months. The record before the pandemic was 7.5 million.

“You see that across the board with many employers having to raise wages to make it attractive,” Schmidt said. “The second thing you’re seeing is sign-on bonuses or retention bonuses that employers are paying to both attract and then keep workers.”

Schmidt says many Americans have built up their savings during the pandemic with some of the relief packages that the government has passed. Those who do quit, he says, are willing to take their time before making their next career move.

“People are being a lot choosier about the jobs that they’re taking,” he said. “They’re willing to actually stay on the sidelines a bit longer and really find the best-fit opportunity for them.”

Schmidt says another significant factor keeping folks on the sideline is the struggle to find child-care. COVID-19 also continues to play a role in the hiring crisis.

“33% of our workers said the delta variant in particular, and in the recent rise of COVID-19 cases associated with that, has really made them hesitant to go back to work,” he said.

Schmidt also says, while many companies are struggling to hire folks, companies with more flexible hours or online jobs such as Amazon, Uber, DoorDash, and GrubHub are doing pretty well at finding workers.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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