The “Great Resignation” is a term coined by the media and job experts. Americans have been leaving their jobs, voluntarily, in record numbers. According to CNBC, “A record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November.” The industry people are quitting the fastest is accommodation and food services.
It is unclear why so many people are stepping away from employment. One theory revolves around the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who can afford not to work do not want to reenter businesses where people work in close proximity – especially older Americans, who seem much more likely to become sick from COVID-19, and even to die. (On the other hand, these are American cities that have added jobs during the pandemic.)
Another theory has its foundation in the notion that fewer people want to return to low-paid jobs. Many hope to hold out for better compensation, in a period when employer needs remain high. (These are the 25 lowest-paying jobs in America.)
Yet another possibility has to do with government assistance given to many Americans. This has allowed them to build financial safety nets in some cases that have made it easier for them to stay out of the workforce, for now.
To determine which industries people were quitting the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its January “Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.” According to the report, the November figure moved 8.9% higher than October’s, with 3% of Americans quitting their jobs in November. The number of people who quit their jobs that month varies substantially from industry to industry, particularly when viewed as a percentage.
The quit level was highest in the accommodation and food services industry at 6.9% in November. These jobs tend to have low pay, and contact with customers and fellow workers can be high, posing a risk of COVID-19 infection. The percentage of people who quit in the leisure and hospitality industry overall was nearly as high, at 6.4%.
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