University of Texas at Dallas

‘Great Resignation' Shows No Signs of Ending

In February, 4.4 million people left jobs for a number of reasons

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the March job numbers Friday morning.

It is expected that job growth will continue, but so will the trend known as “The Great Resignation,” where people are leaving jobs for something better.

“My sense is that the Great Resignation will continue,” University of Texas at Dallas professor Doug Kiel said. “I think the pandemic has led to a lot of people really rethinking their life strategy, how much work really means to them and the work they’re doing doesn’t have value to them – not only in the future, but it doesn’t give them an opportunity have a real work/life balance.”

In February, 4.4 million people left jobs for a number of reasons.

“We’ve had older workers who have decided to retire early, simply because they could financially and wanted to do more things beyond work,” Kiel said. “We also have some younger knowledge workers who are looking for opportunities to find work they find more engaging and with better pay. And then we have a whole series of service level jobs.”

Kiel said the service industry is seeing the biggest dip from people leaving jobs.

“The sectors that are most affected are the service sectors because they just can’t find young people wanting to do these jobs,” Kiel said. “The reality is that many of these jobs are not very pleasant jobs. They are rather unfun jobs and so you can’t blame people for not wanting to take unfun jobs.”

Some have returned to work, but not necessarily because of finances.

“We’re already seeing that some people that retired during the beginning of the pandemic are already going back to work,” Kiel said. “They are finding that they simply can’t fill up their day by watching television.”

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