The Great Resignation is what experts call the phenomenon where an exodus of workers spans the labor market.
This is most pronounced in the service industries, and the numbers are very large: 4.3 million Americans quit in August alone, the Labor Department said this week, the highest number since December 2000.
Statistics show the following:
2.9 percent — the share of the nation’s workforce that quit in August
4.8 percent — the U.S. unemployment rate in September, a pandemic low
293,000 — jobless claims last week, a pandemic low
309,000 — women 20 and older who dropped out of the workforce in September
182,000 — men who were added to the workforce in September
108,700 — drop in the number of child care workers in September versus February 2020
10.4 million — unfilled U.S. jobs (Labor Department)
51 percent — business owners who said the have jobs openings they can’t fill (National Federation of Independent Business)
48 percent — the share of America’s working population actively looking for a job or watching for opportunities (Gallup, July)
61.6 percent — labor participation rate in September, versus 63.3 percent in February 2020
4.3 million — jobs that have vanished with the pandemic-era drop in labor participation
22 — number of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, out of 52, who predicted labor participation will never return to pre-pandemic levels
40 percent — share of the 4.3 million people who quit in August from restaurant and hotel jobs
930,500 — drop in restaurant and bar jobs in September versus February 2020
12.7 percent — increase in hourly pay at bars and restaurants in August versus February 2020
7.3 percent — increase in price of restaurant meals in September versus February 2020
3.6 million — number of new retirees between February 2020 and June 2021
However, some workers are thinking to go back to their old jobs. How does one deliberate?
First advice is to remember why you left in the first place.
“Especially given today’s job market, candidates should not settle,” Matthew McSpadden, CEO of WELD Recruiting said.
“There are plenty of open jobs right now and it’s a candidate’s market. You have the leverage to ask for your preferred working environment and other types of currency, such as leave time, flexible working hours, working remotely.”
“Make sure it’s not a step backward for you and your career and not a comfortable lateral move that’s taken without exploring any steps forward either,” he said. “Ultimately, no matter what you decide, have confidence in yourself and your ask. You’re worth it.”
Next, prepare to answer some questions.
“As a manager, it takes time to interview and train a new hire, so getting back a great employee is ideal,” according to Andrew Lokenauth, vice president of Cover Genius.
“I would always take an old employee back in a heartbeat. Unlike a new hire, you already know their work ethic, and do not have to put time aside to train someone new or interview a lot of candidates.”
Lokenauth also reminded those considering this path that you never know until you ask.
“Everything in life is negotiable,” he said.
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