(WTNH) — In the month of April alone, the U.S. Labor Department says a record four million people quit their jobs. Think about it. In one month! So, what’s behind this surge that many economists have dubbed “The Great Resignation?”
“I think we’re just starting to see the drip, drip, drip of something,” said economist and futurist Rebecca Ryan. “The genie is out of the bottle. We are not putting it back in.”
As millions of people worked from home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they started to rethink their jobs, and how they are valued by their employers.
Ryan also calls this shift in the workforce in the U.S. a “reshuffling”. She says in states like Connecticut, it will reset the cities that can be winners or losers. For example, those with really high-speed internet can compete for residents who can work anywhere.
“Connecticut’s quality of life, it’s high quality of life: safe communities, good schools. You might end up being a net winner from this great reset,” she said.
Something else that we learned from the pandemic? “We don’t require offices to work,” Ryan added. “And the truth is that’s been true for a long time, but now bosses have realized it too.”
As a result, she said we have entered new territory. People in low-skill, low-wage jobs now have more opportunities than ever.
They come in the form of signing bonuses. There’s a big difference between the demand and the supply of workers.
“What I find it amazing is that the Great Resignation is also happening in the C suite. In the highest levels of organizations.” Ryan said.
For that reason she is calling it, in addition to ‘resignation’, a ‘restructure’, and a ‘reimagining.’
Ryan feels that if you were able to work effectively from home during the pandemic, you can likely do remote work for any employer, or as a free-lancer.
Compared to the great recession, “this has been a financially very grounded and secure recessionary period.” She sees it as a major long-term plus for the economy.