Jobs and the Future of Work

The Great Resignation is (slowly) losing steam

The 'Great Resignation', in which tens of millions of Americans left their jobs during the pandemic, lost some steam in September, according to a report.

The 'Great Resignation', in which tens of millions of Americans left their jobs during the pandemic, lost some steam in September, according to a report. Image: Unsplash/Hunters Race

Felix Richter
Data Journalist, Statista
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  • The 'Great Resignation', in which tens of millions of Americans left their jobs during the pandemic, lost some steam in September, according to a report.
  • The number of quits saw the fifth decline in six months.
  • But historically speaking, the number of Americans leaving their jobs is still very high at 4.06 million.

In the wake of the unprecedented jobs crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, a new trend emerged in the U.S. labor market throughout 2021, as tens of millions of Americans voluntarily left their jobs. According to the latest JOLTS report, the “Great Resignation” lost some steam in September, as the seasonally adjusted number of quits saw the fifth decline in six month. Historically speaking, the number of Americans leaving their jobs is still very high at 4.06 million, though, while the number of job openings jumped back up to 10.72 million in September.

The number of quits has now exceeded the pre-pandemic high for 19 consecutive months, as more than 4 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in 17 of the past 19 months. Meanwhile employers, especially in low-wage sectors, are still struggling to fill open positions. The reasons for this trend are of course manifold, but one major driver appears to be that many workers are no longer willing to put up with the pay and/or working conditions they (perhaps grudgingly) accepted prior to the pandemic. “I certainly think that the pandemic has led many people to reevaluate their work and their priorities and what they want to do,” Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute said in a statement to Business Insider.

A graphic showing the great resignation is slowly losing steam in the US.
The Great Resignation is slowly losing steam as the number of job openings jumped back up to 10.72 million in September. Image: Statista
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