A record number of people quit their jobs in August for various reasons. The belief was that once the market for labor had stabilized after the pandemic disruptions, the numbers would decrease and the demand would catch up to the supply.
This may be true, but it was not September. Record-breaking 4.4 million workers left their jobs in September, raising concerns that the gap between job seekers and those looking for work will continue to slow economic growth.
One aspect of the crisis is that workers are able to change careers in a booming labor market for better pay, better benefits, or both.
Three percent of all workers are leaving their jobs, which is staggering. It’s hard to believe that there has been a major shift in the workforce when 6.6 percent of restaurant and hotel employees quit their jobs within a month. This is despite having large incentives that were not available before the pandemic.
What do these people really want?
Economists believe that this phenomenon is the result of a complex mix of trends. Some parents are hesitant to return to the workforce because of the unpredictability of schooling, child and family care, as well as the uncertainty surrounding schooling. Public health remains a concern for in-person employment, with virus cases still stubbornly high despite falling from their peak in September.
Many workers are now realizing that their jobs, especially in low-paying industries such as restaurants, which really struggle to fill the gaps, are no longer attractive, even though companies offer raises and bonuses to attract workers back to work. A number of older workers have retired early, as part of the picture of a shrinking labor force during the pandemic.
Economists are now asking whether there are other factors that have changed the traditional labor market after 750,000 people died.
Restaurant and bar work is a job that has the highest stress level and offers lower rewards. It’s no surprise that these jobs have high turnover.
According to ZipRecruiter, 55% of those looking for work want some type of home-based employment.
The majority of those seeking to work remotely said that workplace safety concerns (50%) or child care/family needs (35%) were their driving factors. This data shows how many people are trying to change industries to be able to work remotely.
We are only just beginning to see the outline of what this pandemic means for employment. It is unsettling for workers and their families, as it is with all revolutions.
While not everyone “learns to code”, a greater percentage of people will be happier and more satisfied when the end comes.