There are millions of open job positions in thousands of companies around the U.S. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that a record 4.4 million people voluntarily quit their jobs. A month earlier, in August, 4.3 million workers had quit their jobs. The most affected industry is the hospitality and leisure industry with close to a million workers downing their tools. By the end of September, there were about 10.4 million job opportunities in the U.S. There is a very high demand for workers, but why are all these workers resigning from their jobs?
Effects of the Pandemic
COVID-19 is still on. The Delta variant came and left workers scared and now the Omicron variant is here. Many workers, especially in the hospitality industry, feel that their workplaces may not be taking the necessary steps to protect them from infections. The advent of the Delta variant sent a scare to so many workers who quit their jobs to protect their lives.
The pandemic also affected child care and now some parents cannot go to work. There are parents who may be afraid of contracting the virus at work and taking it home to their children. However, as the pandemic subsides and people’s savings go low, the pandemic factors will ease.
The reason why there are still so many openings is that about two-thirds of the people who left the workforce are above 55 years. This is according to research data released by Goldman Sachs. It is unlikely that most of these workers are ever coming back. Majority of these workers left the workforce at the height of the pandemic, and they may never come back.
Most of these felt that they were more predisposed to the effects of the pandemic than the younger generation, and they left the workforce. Even as the pandemic eases, the people who left their jobs at 55 are already retired.
Employees have an Upper Hand in Salary negotiations
Workers in service jobs are seeing an increase in wages. In the recent months, there has been a sharp rise in wages. Many workers have taken advantage of the increasing wages and the increase in job openings to switch to better paying jobs. If an employee feels that they can get a better paying job in a different company, they will take up the offer. The switch is placing pressure on the employees who remain, and this is causing even more employees to leave. This issue has affected industries that need employees to work in person, such as the hospitality and leisure industries. With the number of job openings going up and wages also going up, the number of people quitting or switching jobs will continue rising.
Companies are still struggling with the effects of the pandemic and the rising inflation. Labor costs will cause even more inflation to the companies, but the costs are inevitable. As that happens, employees stand to benefit more from the shifts in the labor market.