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On today’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses the Great Resignation and whether it means Americans are unhappy with their jobs.
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WJR Business Beat: New Insight on the Great Resignation (Episode 333) Good morning, Guy! As you know, we’ve reported previously on the Beat that a record number of American workers have quit their jobs since the start of the pandemic, so much so that this period of time is known as the Great Resignation. But this begs the question: Does this mean specifically that our Americans are unhappy with their jobs? Certainly seems so, right, given all the change. Well, Scott Schieman, professor of sociology at the University of Toronto reports and the publication, the conversation that survey data he’s collected suggests that this is not quite the case. He believes that rather than being motivated simply by dissatisfaction, it appears many people leaving their jobs are simply taking advantage of a strong economy to look around, while for others the pandemic has prompted them to consider their options. One strong indicator that he just might be right is that the General Social Survey, that’s a reputable national survey of American adults, has been asking workers questions about how they feel about their jobs and their quality of working life since around 2002. And interestingly, what this survey has found is that from 2002 through about 2020, roughly only about 12% of respondents said that they were very dissatisfied with their work. Now in 2021, there was a slight increase up to about 16%, but still not meaningful enough to drive all of this change. Remember, at roughly 16% saying they’re dissatisfied that means the majority 84% or better are actually satisfied with their work enough to stay with their jobs. Meaning this alone cannot be what’s driving this Great Resignation. So what’s going on here? Professor Schieman draws the following conclusion. When you dig down into the data, he says, it is apparent that there is always a segment of those employed that are simply always considering leaving their jobs. And as the labor market looks brighter, that prompts consideration of change, change that we’re currently seeing as part of a normal cycle based on pent-up demand to make that career change. So maybe not the Great Resignation after all, Guy, rather, maybe more like just simply the Great Transformation. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.