Americans are quitting their jobs at record rates during the so-called “Great Resignation,” even in the face of rising inflation, a new report on 2022’s States With the Highest Job Resignation Rates which offers insight.
WalletHub ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on how frequently people are leaving their places of employment. Below, you can see highlights from the report. For example in the Golden State:
California Job Resignation Stats
- Resignation rate during the latest month: 2.70%.
- Resignation rate in the past 12 months: 2.53%.
- Overall rank: 14th lowest in the country.
What the Experts Say
What are the main factors that are influencing this shift in the labor force?
“Looking at Labor Force Participation Rate statistics, lower total LFPR is driven in a large part by older workers. Rates for younger workers have mostly recovered to their pre-pandemic levels, but are still significantly lower for those above 55. This is partially driven by the age profile of COVID victims, high asset prices helping retirement portfolios (although this has been largely reversed now), and the general difficulty of finding new work as an older worker,” said Colin Corbett, Ph.D., assistant professor, Bradley University.
“I believe one factor getting less attention than it should, is the reduction in immigration since 2017. In the post-Covid upturn, employers have not adapted to the slower growth of the labor force … The population growth was only 0.12% in 2021,” said Jennifer Hunt, professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
How is the decrease in labor force participation affecting employers?
“It is clear that employers are struggling to attract workers. Many are raising wages, offering bonuses to new employees, or providing other inducements. This is one reason workers are leaving their jobs to take advantage of these inducements. But it has also made it hard for employers to meet demand. To some extent, employers want to avoid making permanent commitments to higher wages if the current conditions are temporary, so they may be expanding supply less and raising prices more,” added Joshua L Rosenbloom, professor; Department Chair, Department of Economics, Iowa State University.
“As expected, a decrease in supply leads to higher wages for employees and fewer workers available. Employers have lost some bargaining power in the relationship, so workers are increasingly able to make demands of employers,” Corbett added.
Have the pandemic and the remote working determined, in any way, this change in the labor force?
“Yes, the realization by employees that remote work actually works quite well, after 2 years of perfecting it, along with a tight job market, has led to many employees resisting going back to being in-person on a full-time basis. The Delta and Omicron waves of COVID ensured that the delay in returning to offices was sufficiently long that people learned to work more efficiently in the new environment and rejigged their lives in many cases – investing in different housing and upgrading their homework setups so that now many employers are accepting that people will not return fulltime in-person. New arrangements have sprung up such as hotels catering to those visiting their workplace once a month for a few weekday nights at a time, which are also facilitating this transition to a new way of working that will not fully go away,” according to Rowena Gray, associate professor, University of California Merced.
“The experience of the pandemic, especially lay-offs and early retirements, have undoubtedly contributed to the current tightness in the labor market. Remote work and the other disruptions caused by the pandemic have likely also contributed to many people reassessing their preferences for where they live and how they work, which has led to more turnover too,” Rosenbloom said.