In the wake of the unprecedented jobs crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, a new trend emerged in the U.S. labor market throughout 2021, as tens of millions of Americans voluntarily left their jobs. According to the latest JOLTS report, the “Great Resignation” lost some steam in September, as the seasonally adjusted number of quits saw the fifth decline in six month. Historically speaking, the number of Americans leaving their jobs is still very high at 4.06 million, though, while the number of job openings jumped back up to 10.72 million in September.
The number of quits has now exceeded the pre-pandemic high for 19 consecutive months, as more than 4 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in 17 of the past 19 months. Meanwhile employers, especially in low-wage sectors, are still struggling to fill open positions. The reasons for this trend are of course manifold, but one major driver appears to be that many workers are no longer willing to put up with the pay and/or working conditions they (perhaps grudgingly) accepted prior to the pandemic. “I certainly think that the pandemic has led many people to reevaluate their work and their priorities and what they want to do,” Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute said in a statement to Business Insider.