The Great Resignation: Why Millions of Workers Are Quitting Their Jobs - NPR
Jun 24, 2021 1 min, 39 secs

"I think the pandemic has changed my mindset in a way, like I really value my time now," Caballero says.

As pandemic life recedes in the U.S., people are leaving their jobs in search of more money, more flexibility and more happiness.

It's leading to a dramatic increase in resignations — a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April alone, according to the Labor Department.

"We haven't seen anything quite like the situation we have today," says Daniel Zhao, a labor economist with the jobs site Glassdoor.

The pandemic has given people all kinds of reasons to change direction.

Some people, particularly those who work in low wage jobs at restaurants, are leaving for better pay.

Others may have worked in jobs that weren't a good fit but were waiting out the pandemic before they quit.

More than 740,000 people who quit in April worked in the leisure and hospitality industry, which includes jobs in hotels, bars and restaurants, theme parks and other entertainment venues.

So instead of returning to work last week, Golembiewski resigned, putting an end to his long restaurant career and to the unemployment checks that have provided him a cushion to think about what he'll do next.

The great migration to remote work in the pandemic has also had a profound impact on how people think about when and where they want to work.

The way we think about time and space has changed," says Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of the book Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding From Anywhere.

Workers now crave the flexibility given to them in the pandemic — which had previously been unattainable, she says.

With all of that on hold last year, she and her husband rented a house in Illinois just before the holidays and formed a pandemic bubble with their extended family for the long pandemic winter.

"I think the pandemic just allowed for time," she says.

"You just have more time to think about what you really want.".


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