The pandemic has impacted the economy in multiple ways including employment and career reassessment. Not only did the shutdowns lead to many small businesses closing, millions decided not to return to their jobs. The result has been tightened supply chains, rising consumer prices, and job shortages.

What is the Great Resignation?

Americans are rethinking their occupations after COVID-19 disrupted most workplaces. Many companies stayed in business by allowing employees to work at home on their computers. After a year of working remotely, it became common for employees to pursue different work opportunities.

Typical reasons why people are switching careers are they want a higher-paying job with greater flexibility and happiness. Some workers simply don’t feel valued by their employers. The U.S. Labor Department has reported a record 4 million workers quit in April 2021.

Industries with the highest level of resignations are tech and healthcare. Generally, industries with higher demand during the pandemic have seen the most resignations.

New Career Ideals

By the end of July there were 10.9 million job openings in America. Data from Visier of over 9 million employee records reveals the 40-45 age group has experienced the most resignations. Mid-career reassessment appears to be a driving force behind this trend.

Significantly more women than men have left their jobs during the crisis. According to a Gallup survey, the wellbeing of women has declined more while stress has increased compared with men.

Ironically, the era has also ushered in record pay for women in leadership positions. The Gallup survey further found that women are more engaged at work than men and enjoy greater work satisfaction. Employers must understand that many women now seek hybrid schedules to balance their work and family life.

How Employers Must Respond

Employers can retain their best employees and attract new talent first by qualifying their turnover rate. They must figure out what percentage of resignations are voluntary compared with layoffs and terminations. Then they should calculate how resignations are impacting company skillsets.

Once employers figure how what’s causing resignations they can create customized retention programs. They must rethink their advancement policies and workplace diversity.


The great resignation caught many employers unprepared as they’ve found difficulty filling positions. It’s no mystery that Americans in general have rising concerns about the economy and their careers. Workers want higher pay with a more flexible and less stressful work environment that promotes wellness and incentives.