Why are Americans choosing to quit their jobs in record numbers?

we've all seen signs in front of shops restaurants 
and factories we're hiring help wanted and now   the omicron variant is taking a toll on the 
already depleted workforce we've wondered   how there can be so many open jobs when nearly 
every employer seems to be offering better pay   benefits and even signing bonuses the government's 
jobs report released this past week tells us what   has happened well over 20 million people 
quit their jobs in the second half of 2021   some are calling it the big quit 
others the great resignation   but who can explain why this is happening 
bill whitaker reports he found the best   place to look for real-time answers is 
the huge online job site linkedin which   calls itself the world's largest professional 
network the story will continue in a moment people have been living to work for a very 
long time and i think the pandemic brought   that moment of reflection for everyone what 
do i want to do what makes my heart sing   and people are thinking if not now then when karen 
kimbrough is linkedin's chief economist she has   degrees from stanford and harvard and a phd from 
oxford used to work for the federal reserve and   now has a bird's eye view of the u.s labor market 
we have this unique view of the data we can see   across millions of members and what they share 
with us and we can see from employers millions of   them that are posting jobs on our platform there 
is one person hired every 15 seconds right now   on linkedin but linkedin's data on who is 
leaving jobs is most compelling millions of baby   boomers retiring early but also millions of gen z 
workers people in their teens and early twenties   many more women than men in all the highest quit 
rate since the government started keeping track   two decades ago at the nationwide level the number 
of americans quitting their job is higher than   ever higher than ever higher than ever do the data 
tell you why we can see what sectors people are   quitting retail sectors and hospitality sectors 
it may not just be worth it for some folks and so   in some cases people are quitting and they're not 
yet returning they're taking a break americans are   burnt out i like to think of it as a take this 
job and shove it measure it's just a sign of   people saying you know i don't need this i'm out 
i'm out the most recent data show people quitting   jobs across the board 4.4 percent of all positions 
in education are open over 6 percent in retail and   more than 8 percent in health care open jobs in 
hotels and restaurants are nearly nine percent   that's almost a million and a half vacant 
positions we do have openings and we do   need more employees carl sobosinski owns several 
restaurants in greenville south carolina he needs   workers both in the kitchen and out front waiting 
tables what's the biggest challenge in attracting   them and keeping the employees it's a problem 
that they're just not out there where we are we   just don't have the workers out there looking for 
the jobs construction is another sector without   enough workers at last count there were nearly 350 
thousand open construction jobs nationwide you're   finding it more difficult to find people right now 
absolutely across the board across the board james   jordan owns a fast-growing construction company in 
greenville we doubled our revenue year over year   we don't have a work problem at all now it's just 
a matter of finding the individuals to be able   to do form the work it's not a work problem 
it's a worker problem it's a worker problem   we came to greenville south carolina after seeing 
it on a linkedin data map showing trends of   geographic migration lots of workers leaving big 
cities like san francisco and chicago and lots of   workers moving to places like austin and miami 
and greenville that's another big sign of this   job market people are moving a lot of people are 
just opting because of affordable housing costs   to choose more affordable places smaller cities 
they give you more space will feel safer um and   people are willing to try something new for what 
you'd pay to rent an apartment in san francisco   you can buy a nice house in greenville it has 
attracted big employers like bmw and michelin   but also tries to nurture small businesses and 
startups still you see all the same help wanted   signs on greenville's main street as you would 
in any big city many people believe that generous   government stimulus and unemployment benefits 
are really what's keeping so many workers on the   sidelines no matter where they live the quick 
answer people say is we're still providing too   many benefits and too many people can sit at home 
and and get a check i personally disagree with   that our associates that didn't come back they're 
not sitting at home they found other careers other   opportunities that fit their lifestyle better 
what we saw was that when these benefits were   turned off when workers were no longer getting 
the benefits they did not rush back to work   what does that tell you that tells me that it's 
not just a function of the benefits that's not   the only thing that's going on in the heads 
of workers when they make that calculus about   should i go back will i go back and for what job 
so is all of this producing a fundamental shift in   the balance of power between employers and 
employees it's as if that social contract   of work is being rewritten and right 
now the worker is holding the pen   there are just thousands upon thousands 
of available jobs in america right now   and companies are eager to hire but workers are 
being very choosy so employees are kind of in the   driver's seat employees are in the driver's seat 
right now workers want better pay and benefits   of course but they're also demanding autonomy and 
flexibility particularly in their work schedules   and employers large and small simply have to 
respond i think flexibility is critical this   is the employee's demand the employees they want 
flexibility and if you're an employer that won't   that won't work with your employees to to be 
flexible with them then you're going to be you're   missing out i mean you have to so is it the case 
that gone are the days where an employer would   say you're just lucky to have this job i think 
so i think so and i think it's for the better   james jordan's construction company will pay an 
employee's tuition if they want to continue their   education perfect timing come on in and their 
moving expenses if they relocate and like so   many employers he's offering signing bonuses and 
flexible hours to new hires i understand there was   one young man one young recruit that you called 
every day for two months i did you really wanted   this young man i did i did did you finally get him 
i finally got him he started last week monday what   a stunning turnaround from the spring of 2020 
when the pandemic essentially shut the economy   down we had never seen anything like it when 
you lose 22 million jobs in just two months and   it's unthinkable kimbrough remembers that working 
mothers were and still are among those hardest hit   as the pandemic robbed them of many of their child 
care options what we're seeing now is actually a   really great story of resilience because we're 
seeing more and more women come back into the   workforce we're still missing a few million women 
by the way in the workforce we're not fully there   still missing a few million women um but we're 
seeing them come back and predominantly the women   that we're missing are parents of young children 
they were hit the hardest i just decided to leave   i had nowhere to go i had no hopes for employment 
luckily my husband was gainfully employed and   i was able to do that but i just walked away 
melissa williams walked away from a marketing   job in greenville in early 2021 when the pandemic 
hit she was balancing marriage motherhood and her   career you know you're part of a trend yes 
there's like a fundamental great resignation   people who are saying and doing what you 
did i i can do better than this this isn't   this isn't fun this isn't me like you said i 
hit a wall and i was done was that difficult i   mean it was it was very scary because i have i've 
been employed since i was 17 years old i remember   going home after i put in my resignation and and 
i just sat there on the couch and i was like what   did i just do i just quit my job i have no 
job to go to we have bills we have a child   we have responsibilities and my husband's 
like do you want to go for a walk i was like   i don't have anything else 
to do so we went for a walk it is challenging to go say i'm a go out on my own   in general it really does take 
some work but people want to have   control kenzie biggins moved to greenville 
in 2017 a few years after she founded works b   which pairs remote assistance with executives 
and companies that need administrative help   you find executive assistants all over the country 
and you team them up with executives and companies   also all over the country yes so one can be in 
greenville and an executive can be in chicago   yeah it's all about the best pairing for you 
kenzie had the idea for workspeed years before the   pandemic made such arrangements common you were 
ahead of the curve and then the curve caught up   let me just say this i got a lot of crazy looks 
for a very long time you know walking into places   and saying you should have a virtual executive 
assistant people looked at me like i had five   heads they were like what pandemic hits and all 
of a sudden you're a genius we went from closing   three to four people a month to closing 10 to 
18 people per month which is quite the jump   in trying to get people paired and bringing in new 
eas americans have really taken a liking to remote   work they're two and a half times as likely to 
apply to a job that's remote versus a job that's   not remote how's that different from pre-pandemic 
so pre-pandemic i think one in every 67 jobs   was a remote job and now and now it's one in seven 
one in seven one in seven jobs is remote now it's   a huge huge huge rise in mo and i think what it is 
is that companies have realized that if they want   to attract candidates they kind of need to meet 
them where they are now works be found me at the   most opportune time two months after quitting 
her office job melissa started with work speed   the churn rate is finally showing in stripe so 
hallelujah she's now an executive assistant for   three organizations you're working for three 
different bosses from home all virtually   yes it sounds like you could be just as busy 
as you were before i am i am just as busy   the difference is it's my choice 
now you have a fourth job i do   i do i am also an english instructor at greenville 
technical college works be and the ability to   design your work life does that make it possible 
for you to now enjoy what seems to be your passion   absolutely to teach english absolutely if it 
had not been for works b i would have never   been able to even give this a shot the pendulum 
of power may soon swing back toward employers   especially as workers who've quit their jobs 
deplete their savings but karen kimbrough   expects employees to cling to the flexibility 
they've fought for i think actually that this   trend towards having more 
flexibility could be permanent   i honestly can say i don't see 
myself going back to an office ever   ever ever honestly there is no office that could 
offer me what i have in my house it's not possible

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