The Great Resignations are still in full swing. Here’s what to know

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The Great Resignations are still in full swing. Here’s what to know


On March 16, 2022, a Now Hiring sign appears in a restaurant in Arlington, Virginia.

Stefani Reynolds | dpa | Getty Images

The pandemic-era trend known as “Big Resignations” remains an important feature of the labor market, as favorable conditions lead workers to leave their jobs at near-record levels in search of better (and ample) opportunities elsewhere.

Nearly 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in February, the United States Department of Labor said Tuesday.

This is about 100,000 more people than those who quit in January, and just under the record of 4.5 million set in November.

“These resignations are still extremely high and this shows that the Great Resignations are still in full swing,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at career site Glassdoor.

High demand for workers shows little sign of abating, but it may have stabilized, he added.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this cooling in 2022,” Zhao said. “But that doesn’t mean we should expect the Great Resignations to disappear overnight.”

‘Leave’ and job openings

Resignations, or “resignations” – which are generally voluntary-initiated separations from workers – serve as a measure of employees’ willingness or ability to leave their jobs, according to the Department of Labor.

Job opportunities, such as resignations, have also held near record levels, helping to fuel workers’ confidence in finding new jobs elsewhere.

There were 11.3 million job openings in February, broadly unchanged from January and down slightly from December’s record of over 11.4 million.

Job opportunities reflect employer demand for workers and tend to move up and down with resignations, Zhao said.

The layoff rate, a measure of layoffs relative to the overall level of employment, also remains close to an all-time low, at 0.9% in February.

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The layoff rate has been 1% or less in the past year. It had not previously hit 1% since data logging began in 2000.

Meanwhile, 202,000 people filed a new jobless claim last week, the Department of Labor Thursday said. This trend is below the historical average, said Robert Frick, a business economist at the Navy Federal Credit Union.

The US unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in February, the lowest level since February 2020. The Department of Labor will release its March employment report on Friday.

Application for workers


However, there are signs that the Great Resignation trend may have peaked at the end of 2021. Resignations and job openings appear to be stabilizing, a sign that employer demand may decline throughout 2022, Zhao said. .

The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, began raising its benchmark interest rate in March (which will increase borrowing costs for businesses and households). The Fed aims to cool the economy and curb inflation, that is running at the highs of 40 years. The war in Ukraine could also have a dampening effect on the economy.

“It is possible that in hindsight, we will say that December 2021 was the peak of employer demand in this cycle, before rate hikes, geopolitical uncertainty and other risk factors slowed the economy,” Zhao said. .

“[But] as long as employer demand remains high, I expect the Great Resignations to continue, “he added.


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