(ReliableNews.org) – In October, the US Labor Department reported 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August. That is a huge number, more than anyone expected. Officials are referring to the employment walkout as the Great Resignation. Senior lecturer at Boston University, Jay Zagorsky, believes the reason for the phenomenon is simply that people are often overworked and underappreciated.
The pandemic highlighted the fact that life is short and unpredictable, so people now realize they don’t want to spend their time in a job they don’t like. With remote opportunities flooding the internet with possibilities, workers don’t have to stay in a job that no longer suits them.
Zagorsky is skeptical about the blame sitting solely on COVID-19. He thinks the reports of mass resignations may be overinflated and is waiting for the economy to recover before assessing the situation appropriately. Other experts disagree. Either way, there’s no denying that many Americans are rethinking their employment and how they make their living.
Reasons for the Big Walkout
With remote work becoming prevalent across many employment sectors, UC Berkeley economist Ulrike Malmendier theorizes many people are reevaluating their lives. Commuting, business attire and office politics don’t sound as attractive as cozy home offices, casual wear, drama-free days, and lunch in your own kitchen. The ability to avoid daily traffic on the highways is enough to have anyone rethink their position on how they earn money, especially since remote work is squarely on the table. The pandemic has given people an opportunity to consider what they really want to do with their lives, which has led to many walking out of their current jobs to pursue their dreams.
Malmendier goes a step further in saying that experiences can impact people’s economic behavior and attitudes for a long time. Similar to the way citizens worldwide changed after the stock market crash of 1929, so too are people changing today. Many likely realized once the pandemic led to a near economic shutdown that scraping by simply wasn’t enough anymore. Living wages became a sticking point for most and had many Americans dumping low-paying jobs for demands of fair pay, often leaving their previous fields altogether.
Done With the Old Way
Although job openings are plentiful, many businesses are struggling to fill positions. Often, those jobs either have low wages or deal with the public, which many people simply don’t have the patience to do anymore. According to some, Americans are just done sticking it out. By quitting their current jobs and holding out for higher pay, better benefits, and favorable conditions that let them enjoy their lives a little more, employees are now in control of the working landscape.
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