With prices rising and analysts predicting a recession on the horizon, this may not seem like the best time to quit your job. But that doesn't stop American workers, especially older ones, from doing so.
High-paid workers are increasingly quitting their jobs as the great resignation – also known as the Great Receipt – enters its second year. Prior to the epidemic, the trend was driven by young, short-term workers in low-wage industries such as retail, food services and health services. Now, according to data from two separate human resources and analysis companies, the main increase in departure rates is from older, more seasoned workers in higher-paying industries such as finance, technology and other knowledge workers. These workers say they are looking for less practical benefits like money and flexibility.
The changing combination of who is leaving paints paints an increasingly complex picture of America's working conditions and suggests that while their drop-out rate has dropped slightly from last year's high, the phenomenon is still not going away.
“Great resignation is almost like a train, where it has created all these speeds and it's hard to slow it down, but certain workers are getting off the train and new workers are coming in,” said Luke Purdue, an economist at Gusto, which provides. Salary, benefits, and human resource management software for small and medium-sized businesses.
The rate of resignation is always highest among younger employees – those who invest less in their jobs and those whose lives are less stable. This was true in the early stages of the epidemic when these workers left their jobs elsewhere amid higher demand for better wages and conditions (although those gains are less likely to last). But those dropouts have dropped. Data from Gusto, which typically works with companies with about 25 employees, shows that the average tenure of those who quit their jobs has increased in every age group and in almost every industry. In other words, older people who have worked for a long time are also leaving their jobs.
Similar changes are taking place at large companies, according to data from people analytics provider Vizier.
Between 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, there was the highest increase in resignations among people aged 40 to 60 and over 10 years, according to a Vizier dataset of companies with more than 1,000 employees. Older and older people are more likely to give up knowledge, especially money and technology.
Their reasons are innumerable.
“Don't look for one thing that is leading to great resignation,” Ian Cook, vice president of Vigilance's People's Analysis, told Ricod. “It's actually made up of a combination of different patterns and will continue to change as the labor market changes and the economic recovery changes.”
In a more financially stable set, being driven by exit Everything from the desire to work from a distance to the larger search for money has to be done simply.
Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, called the repetition of the great resignation a “crisis of middle life.”
“In the middle of life, we become aware of our own death, and it allows us to reflect on what really matters to us,” Galinsky said. The epidemic has exacerbated that effect. “A global epidemic clearly reflects people's own mortality rates in case of fear of their own death or the death of loved ones or family and colleagues.”
Importantly, people who quit or quit their jobs altogether are usually financially motivated to do so.
Galinsky, who is currently resting in Hawaii, said he saw it among his peers and is now working out of his island among other high-earning knowledge workers. He cited a Bloomberg employee who resigned after calling employees back to the office after the money was leaked and who now works on a pasta truck.
Because of the savings or the wife's income, such workers have the freedom to look for other jobs, including gig work or starting their own business. A joyous survey of new businesses shows that they have shifted from e-commerce startups to more professional services before the epidemic, say, an accountant started his own firm instead of working for someone else.
Many of these workers, especially those who are older and more stable in their careers, now have the perspective to consider what they actually want from their lives and work.
After more than two years of successful working from home, many knowledge workers hate to return to the office, and some are jumping on the ship if they think they have to do it. It's understandable. An ongoing survey of Slack's 10,000 knowledge workers found that one-third of them now return to office five days a week, with work-related stress and anxiety reaching their highest levels since the survey began in 2020.
The increase in the resignation of knowledge workers can only be due to people copying each other.
“Employees who have this experience, who have changed a job, which has become more flexible, talk about it and how they had a great experience and it makes their neighbors or their friends do the same thing,” Purdue said.
They are also leaving because there are so many jobs for them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings in business and professional services is at record highs. According to job site Indid, the number of high-paying job postings has not been as cold as low-paying job postings (postings for both are above pre-epidemic levels).
So while the future may look bleak, the present looks just right for these confident employees in the current tight job market. As Galinsky puts it, “People have less faith in global warming on a snowy day.”