A Look at The Great Resignation and What it Means for Employees

Throughout the pandemic, companies across the United States have been tasked with filling a record number of available positions due to employees quitting their jobs. Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University was the first person to propose the idea of the Great Resignation, which predicted a large number of people would end up leaving their jobs after the COVID pandemic ends and life returns to "normal."

Although the pandemic continues to impact every aspect of our lives nearly two later, managers across all industries are still navigating the ripple effects of the Great Resignation as employees re-evaluate what they want from their careers and continue leaving their jobs in record numbers.

What Types of Employees Are Leaving Their Jobs?

According to a study based on 9 million employee records at 4,000 global companies, employees between 30 and 45 years have seen the most significant increase in resignation rates. Data from the study revealed that there was a 20% increase in resignations among this age group between 2020 and 2021.

Generally, turnover is highest among younger employees, but the study found that over the first year of the pandemic, resignations actually decreased among workers between the ages of 20 and 25. Researchers attribute this to a combination of greater financial uncertainty and reduced demand for entry-level workers.

Resignation rates also dropped among employees between the ages of 60 and 70, while employees in the 25 to 30 and 45+ age groups had marginally higher resignation rates than in 2020, but not the major increase that was seen in the 30-45 group.

Why Are Mostly Mid-Level Employees Resigning?

Researchers point to several factors that might explain why the increase in resignations has mostly been among mid-level employees.

The first, is that companies shifting to remote work caused many employers to veer away from hiring people with little work experience. The thought process for these companies is that it isn’t worth the risk because entry-level workers won’t have access to the same training and guidance that can be conducted in-person. This type of thinking would create a greater demand for mid-career employees and gives them more leverage when searching for a job.

Another theory is that many mid-level employees delayed transitioning out of their roles because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Lastly, researchers believe that many mid-level workers just hit a wall after months and months of high workloads, hiring freezes, and other pressures that ultimately led them to reconsider their career goals.

What Industries Had the Highest Number of Resignations?

The study also showed that are substantial differences in turnover rates between companies in different industries. Although resignations slightly dropped in industries like manufacturing and finance, there was a 3.6% increase in health care employees resigning. In the tech industry, resignations increased by 4.5%. Researchers also found that resignation rates were higher among employees working in fields that experienced extreme increases in demand during the pandemic. This most likely contributed to increased workloads and burnout.

Our Employment Law Attorneys Are Here to Guide You

At Badame Law Group, APC, we understand that many employees who want to resign from their job to pursue a new career path might have reason to fear that their employer will retaliate against them. Whether your employer refuses to give you your last paycheck or holds out on severance benefits you are entitled to, our team of skilled lawyers can help you protect your rights and obtain justice. Our employment law team knows firsthand that wrongful and illegal workplace practices can affect all areas of an employee's life, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need to take legal action against your employer.

To speak with a lawyer at Badame Law Group, APC, call us today at (949) 393-4249 or complete our convenient online form to set up your free case consultation.