Millions of Americans telling their bosses 'I quit'

The ‘Great Resignation’ forcing companies to rethink hiring.
Millions of Americans leaving their jobs
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Posted at 5:46 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 02:20:37-04

Millions of Americans are packing up boxes and walking out the office for good. “the great resignation is coming,” first coined by Texas A&M University professor Anthony Klotz.

Help Wanted
A help wanted sign is displayed at a gas station in Mount Prospect, Ill., Tuesday, July 27, 2021. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week by 14,000 to 385,000, Thursday, Aug. 5, more evidence that the economy and the job market are rebounding briskly from the coronavirus recession.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

At the dinner table for many, the talk might be about how people just don't want to work anymore. According to Klotz, that's not always the case.

"I saw four different trends that caused people to leave their jobs in 2021," said Koltz.


Backlog of Resignations

Because of the pandemic, people were holding on to jobs.

"Because of the pandemic and all the uncertainty of 2020 the number of resignations was really low, which means that there are probably employees in their jobs who had 2020 been a normal year, they would have left but they didn't leave," said Koltz.

Typing computer laptop working home job
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Koltz believes once the rebound started people started switching jobs for better pay.

Widespread Burnout

Many people in the retail world have complained about burnout. Having to ask people to wear a mask, rude customers, and long hours contributed to many leaving their jobs.

"People just need some sort of psychological break from their job, they're sort of batteries are empty. And we know burnout is a predictor of turnover," said Koltz.

Work stress
It's a feeling of extreme work stress that's long been embedded in the cultural lexicon, and now it might be codified in your medical records as well. *This image is for use with this specific article only*

Retail stores is not the only industry.
Goldman Sachs conducted a survey of 1,145 small business owners from a variety of industries.

  • 64% say their workforce challenges have been difficult since the pandemic.
  • 87% of those hiring find it difficult to recruit qualified candidates.

Businesses say that's starting to hurt their bottom line.

Time of reflection

The pandemic made people from all over the world rethink how they live life.

"The result of that reflection is that a number of people want to change the place that work had in their lives before the pandemic," said Koltz.

covid testing

That time of reflection has made people think about what they want to do for a job and how they are treated.

73% of workers say that they're thinking about quitting their jobs, according to a new survey by Joblist.


  • Not respected
  • Overworked
  • Stuck in a dead-end role

"Many people in the American workforce, work is not the most important thing in their lives now, but it was before the pandemic," said Koltz.

Remote Work

"There's lots of issues with working remotely. But it's also hard to argue with the fact that working remotely gives you much more freedom," said Koltz.

remote working

According to a PwC’s US Remote Work Survey 72 percent of office workers would like to work remotely at least two days a week.