A Nation of Quitters?

Are Americans becoming quitters in America? This might be true.

Workers quit their jobs as the COVID-19 epidemic progressed. As the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the country, 2020 saw the largest decline in labor force participation, dropping from 63.2 percent to 60.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2019, to 60.8 percent by the end of 2020. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis also stated that there was an excess of 2.4million “excess retirements” in the first year of this pandemic. This refers to people who, in normal circumstances, would have expected to cease working. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in November 2021, nearly 31% of American workers quit their jobs. Near the close of the year, the number of workers was approximately 4 million lower than it was before the pandemic.

Tech, child care and health care are the hardest hit industries by this wave of quitting. According to the, 2020 was a year in which 3.6 per cent more employees of the health sector quit than they did the year before. Harvard Business Review. According to the latest data available in December 2021, day care and education jobs were down 10 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, from their pre-COVID February 2020 peaks. More than 1.5million women are still out of the workforce.

The Great Resignation is a term that describes this phenomenon. It has been observed in all parts of the world. It became an inescapable feature of the U.S. economy as the pandemic remained. This is reshaping America’s work environment as people leave their jobs.

The virus was partly responsible for many resignations, particularly in 2020. Most of those who “excessively retired” were old workers that are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. They decided, understandably, to quit the workforce several years earlier.

A 2020 report by the St. Louis Fed also noted that the unexpected twist to the downturn that resulted from the pandemic was the increase in the value of assets such as stocks and homes. During this time, households spent less on many items, including eating out. As a result, people had more money in their banks accounts. According to economists, people who are rich will work less when they get more.

A policy option was to increase household wealth. In the year or so following the March 2020 onset of the pandemic, Congress passed roughly $6 trillion in pandemic aid and economic stimulus—much of it, like expanded unemployment benefits, designed to put cash into people’s pocketbooks. Personal savings rates rose after the federal pandemic-relief check was sent to every household.

The summer of 2021 saw Americans become comparatively wealthy, which allowed workers to be more selective about their work locations and whether they want to stay there. For a time, many people chose to not go.

Americans can be much more flexible about what work they do and who they are working for. It is more than just a tale of American workers quitting the workforce. It is also a story of Americans using new tools and resources to work differently—in many cases, online and for themselves.

According to Labor Department data the number of self-employed workers has risen by half a billion since the outbreak. In the 10 first months of 2021, applications for federal tax identification numbers (FTIN) for new business increased 56 percent. You can find more information at: The Wall Street Journal According to November’s report, the majority of these new companies were not expecting to hire employees. The employment at large companies fell for the first-time in over a decade and half. Total self-employment reached a high not seen in more that a decade. The economy has seen the largest boom in entrepreneurship for a long time.

The Great Resignation can be read as a signal that Americans have had enough of working, or are exhausted by the pressure of COVID. However, many Americans may see it as a way to do things differently and not be bound by the rigidity of big organizations. It’s easier than ever to use online platforms and tools such as Zoom or Substack or Etsy or Stripe. Americans are able to use economic downturns of the pandemic era as a chance to reset their priorities and get reoriented. Americans quit, yes. However, they are returning to work.