The level at which people are quitting jobs is returning to pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that the labor market turns back in favor of employers.
- During and after the pandemic, a record number of workers started job-hopping, a phenomenon known as the Great Resignation.
- Workers were quitting their jobs, often moving to higher-paying opportunities, but that trend is starting to die down, Axios reports.
- As the labor market begins to regulate, employees find it harder to quickly move from one job to another.
Why it’s news
The Great Resignation was one of the symptoms of a hot labor market. Demand for labor was high, and many employees had several opportunities to choose from. However, the job market is beginning to slow, and quitting rates resemble pre-pandemic numbers more closely.
In April, quitting rates fell around 2.4%—just a little higher than in February 2020, right before the pandemic began. April numbers are generally in line with quitting rates from 2019.
Since the pandemic, leisure and hospitality workers have had especially high turnover rates, but these jobs are starting to see lower quitting rates. Last summer, these industries peaked with a 5.8% quitting rate. In April, that number was at 4.6%, just a little higher than January 2020’s rate of 4.4%, Axios reports.
While employees may have fewer opportunities when looking for a change, experts say that the shift in labor demand is not necessarily a bad thing.
“We are pretty much back to a strong, robust labor market, but one that is no longer overheating,” ZipRecruiter economist Julia Pollak says. “One that isn’t plagued by widespread labor shortages that are wreaking havoc across the economy, and causing firms to offer off-cycle wage increases and dispense of all hiring requirements. The deck isn’t totally stacked in jobseekers’ favor anymore.”
During the Great Resignation, job quits reached a high in April 2022, with around 4.5 million quits that month. Since the Labor Department began collecting data in 2000, the U.S. had not seen that level of resignations, Axios reports.