I Quit! America’s “Great Resignation”

The U.S. is suffering from a labour shortage.

Within the last year, millions of Americans have decided to switch jobs or even quit the labor force entirely. The rapid increase in resignations have taken the United States by storm, and our everyday lives are feeling the consequences. The thoughtfully named “Great Resignation” has affected the lives of virtually every American, including our lives at Western Reserve Academy.

Multiple businesses in Hudson have cut their hours due to a shortage of workers. A month ago, Restore Cold Pressed, an organic juice bar, was open six days a week. Now, they are closed three days a week, including Saturday. On the days they are open, their hours are from 8 a.m – 3 p.m. (9 a.m -3 p.m on Sundays).

Downtown restaurants such as Flip Side and 3 Palms Pizza have memorandums posted on their entrances stating that they are short staffed, which might affect your dining experience regarding mealtimes and menu availability. The question is: “Why is everyone quitting their jobs?”

The U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which monitors the labor market of the United States, recorded 4 million resignations in July of 2021 and 4.3 million resignations in August, 2021. At the same time, the number of job openings settled around 10.5 million.

The hardest hit fields of employment are healthcare, technology, hospitality and retail.

There are copious reasons why so many Americans are calling it quits. Many experts believe that the Coronavirus pandemic is significant as to why there are so many resignations. Studies conducted by multiple databases that include but not limited to: Harvard Business Review, Fox and CNBC, have researched what is driving the Great Resignation.

Experts believe that the upheaval of normal life from COVID-19 has caused many employees to take the chance to re-evaluate their lives and question if their current jobs are fulfilling enough.

Another reason why employees have decided to resign is due to burnout from working long hours, causing them to feel unmotivated. Healthcare is where many employees suffer from this. Employees including nurses and EMS paramedics have had to work overtime to fight the pandemic.

A third reason why Americans have decided to move is to find better pay and compensation at their new jobs that better suit their lifestyle. Some workers, such as those ones in the hospitality sector, are frustrated with the rude and unpleasant treatment they receive on the job, which comes from both their employers and customers.

The Great Resignation has also affected the persevering workers who have stayed at their jobs as well. Due to fewer employees, the ones who stay have to take on more responsibility. According to a poll from CNBC, 28% of workers who stay at their posts say they feel isolated and lonely. 55% percent of workers now wonder if they are getting paid enough. Notice a pattern?

Nevertheless, if the “great resignation” continues, even more workers may decide to switch jobs or even retire, further unbalancing the U.S. labor market and our lives.

Thomas Cahill ’23

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