Americans leaving their jobs by the millions
Whatever the reason — they can make money and/or have more flexibility somewhere, they didn’t like their jobs, their whole outlook on life changed, they didn’t want to get COVID — Americans have quit their jobs in record numbers. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary found that 2.9% of the workforce quit in August, following up on the 2.7% who quit in July. For those two months combined, that translates to well over 8 million people who decided now was the time.
As the high number of job vacancies shows, workers have more leverage than they’ve had in a long time and can demand higher wages. As RSM chief economist Joe Brusuelas told CNN Business, it’s a “golden age for the American worker.”
“The American worker is now confident that he or she has the bargaining power and can obtain a reasonable wage — and have influence over the shape of working conditions,” Brusuelas said.
That freedom to quit is only there for certain sectors of the economy, though. As sluggish jobs numbers show, different areas of the economy are recovering at different paces.
“Longer-term issues remain, as many people who worked in low-paying jobs with variable hours, particularly in leisure/hospitality, may be unwilling to go back to these types of positions,” Moody’s Analytics senior economist Sophia Koropeckyj told Reuters.
For those who can do it, this might be the best opportunity they’ll have to remake their careers and forge their owns paths. Millions of people have used the unexpected jolt in routine life to start their own businesses.
“I thought, ‘This is life,’ right? You pivot with life. When you’re not sure what’s going on, you make the best of it that you can,” Sherri Mitchell, who started Chef Sherri Sauces in March 2020 told NBC.
Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough quit and start something better.