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Inflation and Recession Aren’t Interrupting The Great Resignation



Inflation is still rising and a recession is looming, but a third of U.S. employees are still looking for new jobs. And almost all of those who have already left have no regrets.

Those are the results of a new study by the economic research group The Conference Board, which concludes, “94 percent of those who left their company in the last year do not regret their choice to leave.”

“Despite worries of a recession — and the hiring slowdown and layoffs that often result from a downturn — the labor market remains strong. And this robust job market is continuing to empower workers,” said Rebecca Ray, an executive with the Conference Board. “Our survey results reveal they continue to want more flexibility and higher pay, and they’ll go elsewhere to attain these benefits. But slowing economic growth makes the decision to jump ship riskier.”

More money, fewer constraints previously reported wages haven’t kept up with price hikes. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that inflation has risen by 7 percent, while wages only increased by 4 percent.

That’s in line with the Conference Board’s survey findings. One of the top reasons workers say they’ll stick with a company is more money. Below is a brief breakdown of what respondents told the Conference Board:

  • Flexibility: 54 percent
  • Higher pay: 53 percent
  • Career advancement: 33 percent

“Employees are voting with their feet to gain flexibility,” said Robin Erickson, a VP at the Conference Board. “But with flexibility must come boundaries. Managers should regularly monitor their employees’ workload to ensure it is manageable.”

Find out: Survey Finds More Job Seekers Now Prioritize Flexible or Remote Work Options

A phenomenon in perspective

The BLS recently published “The ‘Great Resignation’ in perspective” revealing major trends within and reasons for the phenomenon.

Industries with the highest resignation rates are food service and hospitality. At significantly lower rates are retail, professional and business services, arts and entertainment, and healthcare. Interestingly, public sector workers were the least likely to have quit.

When the scope of this trend is expanded globally, similar trends appear. PwC Global Workforce polled more than 52,000 workers from 44 countries in a report called Hopes and Fears online survey. Most dissatisfaction at work stems from low pay and lack of concern from management is driving a huge exodus of workers worldwide.

With financial stress at an eight-year high, it stands to reason that so many workers are seeking better jobs. Some economic experts suggest that the increase in more educated workers has led to more workplaces unionizing, which helps give them more power in the workplace and benefits like safer working conditions and guaranteed pay increases, the New York Times reported.

As the risk of a recession and other economic factors like resignations appear to be heightened at this moment, it’s hardly the worst things have been in the last 100 years. As pundits raise alarms over what this means for “the economy” or employers, workers across industries and demographics are more comfortable in their decisions to leave their jobs as the pandemic has opened up new industries, jobs, flexibility, and opportunities.

Find out: New Survey Finds Pay and Power Key Factors in the Great Resignation

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