4.3 million people quit their jobs in January as the Great Resignation shows no sign of slowing down (2023)

A "now hiring" sign is posted in the window of a restaurant in Los Angeles on Jan. 28, 2022.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

The pandemic-era phenomenon known as the Great Resignation remained a hallmark of the labor market in early 2022, according to federal data issued Wednesday.

Nearly 4.3 million people quit their jobs in January, a slight monthly decline but still near the record level set in November, the U.S. Department of Labor said. The elevated level in early 2022 comes off a year in which almost 48 million people quit their jobs, an annual record.

"The Great Resignation is still in full swing, even if quits are moderating somewhat," Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at career site Glassdoor, said in a tweet.

(Video) The Great Resignation: Why Millions Of Workers Are Quitting

Job resignations are still up 23% above prepandemic levels, he said.

The data suggests people aren't quitting their jobs to exit the labor market and sit on the sidelines, economists said. Instead, the high level of resignation indicates a strong job market for workers with ample opportunities, they said.

There were almost 11.3 million job openings in January, just shy of December's record, according to the Labor Department.

The high labor demand is pushing employers to pay higher wages as they compete to attract talent, and that higher pay is luring workers away from their current jobs.

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(Video) Why Is Everyone Quitting| The Great Resignation

"So far, 2022 looks a lot like 2021," Nick Bunker, the economic research director for North America at the Indeed Hiring Lab, said of the new data. "Demand for labor is historically high and workers are quitting their jobs at historic rates to take advantage of that demand."

Resignation rates are up most in sectors like manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and retail trade — where demand is high and employment has been growing, Bunker said.

Employers in the private sector have raised hourly pay by about 5% in the past year, according to federal data.

But that wage growth has been higher for job-switchers than those who keep the same job — they've gotten raises of 5.8% versus 4.7%, respectively, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

While resignations tapered somewhat in January, factors like the continued high level of job openings may keep them elevated for a while, Bunker said.

(Video) The Great Resignation, Explained in One Chart | WSJ

"The labor market continues to be quite hot and gives advantages to job seekers they didn't have before," he said.

Labor force

The labor force grew by 304,000 people in February, according to the Labor Department jobs report issued Friday. (The labor force includes people who are working or actively looking for work. It remains 592,000 people shy of its prepandemic level.)

"High quits are decidedly not translating into workers leaving the labor force in large numbers," Elise Gould, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, said in a tweet. "In fact ... we are seeing a steady return of workers back to the labor market (many of whom are getting jobs)."

4.3 million people quit their jobs in January as the Great Resignation shows no sign of slowing down (1)

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The rate of hiring is higher than the resignations rate in every major industry, indicating workers are moving to other jobs, likely in the same industry, Gould added.

(Video) Survey: "Great Resignation" to continue in 2022

If job openings fall this year from current near-record levels, it would likely translate into a slowdown in resignations, too, according to economists.

"If demand for workers starts to moderate in 2022, expect the Great Resignation to begin to wane as well," Zhao said.


How many people have quit their jobs in the Great Resignation? ›

Conclusion. With over 47 million people resigning from their jobs in 2021, the Great Resignation is a historical trend that will have an impact on the job market for years to come. Many workers are not only changing jobs but also their entire careers.

Why did people quit during the Great Resignation? ›

The Great Resignation describes the elevated rate at which U.S. workers resigned from their jobs starting in the spring of 2021, amid strong labor demand and low unemployment even as vaccinations eased the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is causing the Great Resignation 2022? ›

PwC's "Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey" found that globally one in five workers may quit their jobs in 2022. About 71% of those surveyed cited pay as the key factor behind their decision to change jobs.

How many people had the Great Resignation in 2022? ›

The “Great Resignation” that has seen a record number of workers in the United States voluntarily resign from their jobs continued as approximately 4.2 million workers quit in November 2022, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor ...

Has the Great Resignation slowed down? ›

Great Resignation shows signs of slowing

The number of survey respondents who say they are actively searching for a new job in the past four weeks increased to 24.7% from 24.0% in July 2021, driven largely by workers under 45 and those with a college degree.

Has the Great Resignation slowed? ›

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.

Why people are not returning to work? ›

What's holding folks back from returning to the workforce and taking available jobs? Disruptions to schooling and child care are still keeping people who were working before the pandemic out of the workforce now. Chris Hossellman of Palo Alto, California, has two young kids.

What are the cons of the Great Resignation? ›

The Great Resignation is far from over; a new report by Gallup revealed that 48% of America's working population is actively looking for jobs.
The cons of quitting
  • You could lose your health insurance. ...
  • Competitive sign-on bonuses and benefits mean more job competition. ...
  • Relocation can be difficult.
Jun 1, 2022

Why is everyone quitting at work? ›

The rate of people quitting their jobs voluntarily in the US is up on pre-pandemic levels. 65% of people who quit their job did not return to the same industry. Lack of career development/advancement is the most commonly cited reason.

Is the Great Resignation causing inflation? ›

5 According to our estimates, the Great Resignation increased the rate of inflation by up to 1.1 percentage points. Interestingly, the contribution to inflation built up from the onset of the pandemic crisis. This inflationary pressure plateaued at its peak of May 2021 and then declined slightly in September 2021.

What triggers great resignation? ›

The Great Resignation has largely been fuelled by burnout, but other factors also include the shift to working from home and the desire to move into a more stable profession. In 2020, resignation rates across the US plummeted due to the fear and uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Is the Great Resignation getting worse? ›

'Great Resignation' is worsening: 49% of employees looking for new jobs, survey says. CHARLOTTE – For all those executives who believe that the worst is over when it comes to employee recruitment turnover and retention, a new survey finds that the “Great Resignation” is far from over. In fact, it's getting worse.

Is it too late to change careers at 45? ›

It is not too late to make a career change at 45. At 45 you have a wealth of skills that you learned from years of work experience that can be applied in a wide range of new fields. Many midlife career changers are able to successfully transition to a new job.

Who does the Great Resignation affect? ›

In the end, the Great Resignation has had a huge impact on small businesses, from higher turnover to acquiring new talent. Many small businesses have had to adapt how they do business too. Some companies have gone from working in person to offering hybrid work or even full-time remote work.

Are we still in the Great Resignation? ›

One in four employees don't feel secure in their current positions and almost half of them plan to explore new job options in 2023, according to a new report that indicates the Great Resignation remains in full swing.

Do people regret the Great Resignation? ›

Great Resignation brings great regrets. Over one in four people who quit their previous job (26%) regret their decision. Of those who found a new job after quitting, 42% say that their new job has not lived up to their expectations. “Unretirements” are on the rise.

Why Millennials are quitting their jobs Great Resignation? ›

Burn Out. Burnout is a major problem for millennials in the workforce. In fact, it's one of the leading reasons why millennials are quitting their six-figure jobs. According to Deloitte, in comparison to 77% of all respondents, 84% of millennials claim they have experienced burnout at their present employment.

Why are Americans not working? ›

The single most common reason why prime-age Americans say they're not working right now is caregiving. More than 26 percent of nonworking Americans aren't working because they're taking care of relatives or a household. The second-most common reason is health.

Should I leave my job during a recession? ›

It is usually not wise to quit working when the economy is in a recession. As much as historians like to find similarities between past recessions, the reality is each one is different. That isn't to suggest people should never quit their job.

What time of year is best to quit job? ›

There is no definitive 'best' time of year to quit your job. Quitting your job should be based on a number of factors, including (but not limited to) whether you have another job lined up, if you need to relocate for a new job and what notice you are expected to give to your current employer.

Is now a good time to get a new job? ›

Despite rampant recession warnings, the U.S. labor market is actually quite strong right now, and there are lots of opportunities to be had. A new job could also pave the way for more career growth. If you're stuck in a dead-end role, the sooner you bust out of it, the more progress you can make.

Why is it so hard to hire right now 2022? ›

The No. 1 reason businesses struggle to fill open jobs is that wages are too low, according to a survey of more than 3,000 hourly workers conducted by employer payment platform Branch. Fear of exposure to Covid-19 at work came in second with 46% of the vote.

Are people refusing to go back to the office? ›

One in four US workers say they have refused to comply with their employer's instruction to return to the office – and are willing to accept termination as a result.

Are employees quitting instead of returning to the office? ›

But that could be easier said than done: a survey from careers service Zety asked more than 1,000 US workers what their work expectations will be going into 2023, and 60% said they would rather quit their job than return to their desks five days a week.

Why is quitting better than getting fired? ›

The advantages of quitting instead of being fired include the possibility of negotiating severance and a positive recommendation. Disadvantages of quitting include forfeiting the right to claim unemployment. Any time you think your job is in danger, it's a good idea to start looking for a new job just in case.

Why is it not good to quit? ›

Sometimes, quitting isn't the best thing to do. It can cost you money, and even make it harder to get hired if you don't have another job lined up.

How toxic work culture are driving the Great Resignation? ›

The research found that toxic work culture was the biggest cause of attrition, even more so than bad pay or job insecurity. It's easy enough to tell if a workplace is toxic when you're in it but accessing a company culture can be difficult to do in the interview process.

Why are so many American workers quitting? ›

Majority of workers who quit a job in 2021 cite low pay, no opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected.

Why do hard working employees quit? ›

One of the main reasons top performers leave is because they feel their career advancement isn't going as planned. “It doesn't matter if they like what they're working on, who they're working with and are compensated fairly or more than fairly,” says David Foote, chief analyst and research officer at Foote Partners.

Why employees quit so fast? ›

Other leading predictors of turnover include job insecurity and reorganization, high levels of innovation (as in, companies that move so quickly that they burn out workers), failure to recognize employee performance, and poor response to Covid-19.

What are people doing for income during the Great Resignation? ›

Leaving to work in gig work

There is an abundance of gig work opportunities. Gig work is any type of freelance work where you can choose your hours – like driving for Uber. With the rise of gig work, many people can leave their jobs and do odd jobs to make a living.

Are people regretting the Great Resignation? ›

Of those who quit and landed a new job, 42% admit the new role hasn't lived up to expectations, says Joblist. According to Muse, the figure could be even higher. It found that three-quarters (72%) felt “surprise or regret” that their new role was “very different” from what they had imagined.

Has there ever been Great Resignation? ›

The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit and the Great Reshuffle, is an ongoing economic trend in which employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What jobs are most affected by the Great Resignation? ›

The retail and hospitality industries have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic and most affected by the Great Resignation.

Is the Great Resignation good for the economy? ›

According to our estimates, the Great Resignation increased the rate of inflation by up to 1.1 percentage points. Interestingly, the contribution to inflation built up from the onset of the pandemic crisis. This inflationary pressure plateaued at its peak of May 2021 and then declined slightly in September 2021.

How do people survive the Great Resignation? ›

To retain a healthy workforce and re-build loyalty, employers must embrace change and make employees feel good about where they work. The right people strategy and technology can differentiate an employer and foster a 'Great Reset. '

Why the great resigners are going back to work? ›

It found that work-life balance was a key motivator among those moving jobs, while more employers were planning to recruit and retain staff by making jobs more flexible (35 per cent) than were doing so by increasing pay (29 per cent).


1. "The Great Resignation," employment trends discussed by LinkedIn chief economist
(CBS News)
2. The Great Resignation Panel: Are You Ready for Your Next Career?
(Albert's List)
3. The Great Resignation: Only The Beginning (Webinar)
(Solutions Explained by Roman 3)
4. AI Jobpocalypse: How tech like ChatGPT will impact your life by 2030 (and what to do about it)
(David Shapiro ~ AI)
5. WARNING: The Great Reset Of 2022 Just Got WORSE - Why MILLIONS Of Millennials Just Quit Their JOB
(Nate Gregory)
6. How To Leverage The Great Resignation In Your Favor
(The Ken Coleman Show - Highlights)
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