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Could it be the ‘Forever Resignation’?

Do you remember Chris Walters, our Senior Vice President, telling you that quits and the quit rate had hit a record last November?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4.5 million quits in November which resulted in a quit rate of 3%. Those were record-setting numbers.

The big news now is that Americans are still quitting their jobs in big numbers. The BLS marked the beginning of June by announcing that the quit rate held steady at 2.9 percent in April, with 4.4 million people quitting their jobs.

Looking over the numbers published by the BLS, BusinessInsider coined the term “Forever Resignation” to describe what’s going on. Their report included this:

April was the 11th month in a row that over 4 million Americans have thrown in the towel. It also marks a year since the country first notched a new record-breaking quits rate, which was quickly bested when quits reached a series high in November 2021 — showing that workers quitting in droves was far from just a reaction to early pandemic conditions.

April also showed just how much businesses want to hold onto their workers: Layoffs and discharges reached a new record low. Just 1.2 million people were laid off or discharged in April, a rate of 0.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other media sources still call the labor situation the “Great Resignation,” and CNBC reported in late May that it will probably continue for some time.

The network based its report on a study released by professional services firm PwC that found 44% of respondents who work in the tech industry said they plan to ask for a raise. PwC surveyed more than 52,000 workers in 44 countries.

The survey also found that 71% of respondents to their survey said a pay increase would prompt them to change jobs. And a Pew Research Center study found that over half of the Americans who quit in 2021 and took new roles were making more money.

As we pay attention to the companies losing employees, let’s also look at the companies that gain them. A Forbes article noted:

The Great Resignation undoubtedly will continue, but the flip side—the Great Acceptance—has created a massive opportunity for companies on the receiving end of recently exited employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a nearly one-to-one correlation between the rate of quitting and swapping, confirming that these employees are indeed accepting new offers.

What do those new offers include? BusinessInsider noted that wages are rising and many people are looking for jobs that will allow them to work remotely.

As Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance said, “In this tight labor market, hiring managers will have to be mindful of the expectations and demands of the tech workforce as we navigate through the complexities of work-from-anywhere culture in order to hire and retain employees, especially in the specialized tech roles.”

It’s worth noting that recent actions by the Federal Reserve to combat rising inflation, combined with fears by some business leaders about a potential recession, could stop the Forever Resignation in its tracks. Or not.

No matter what happens, it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. We’ll keep a sharp eye on it, so just hang on.