Thursday, July 8, 2021

Today, I Learned About the Great Resignation

I essentially deplore social media and don't hang out on any of it.  (Some consider blogging social media; I don't).  If you happen to hang out on Reddit or TikTok you probably know there's this movement going to encourage millions of people to quit their jobs this coming fall.  It's called “The Great Resignation of 2021,” and the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) presented a story about it.  Since I don't do social media, this is the first I've heard of it.

Whenever I hear about something getting started on social media, I'm always skeptical about how real it is.  When it comes time to turn in their resignation, how many people are actually going to go through with it?  Is it even a real thing or is it just some "influencers" trying to, well, influence a lot of people? 

The article opens with some facts about the economy and situations that you've probably heard, and author Hannah Cox looks at the story in terms of incentives.  Economics can almost be called the study of incentives at its core.  Suffice it to say that the pandemic and the responses to it have created the worst U.S. recession in history, and millions of people are still out of jobs. Yet employers are now complaining about acute labor shortages.  Add in the oft-repeated story that some number of workers are making more with their extended unemployment and other Federal stimulus income and have no desire to go back to work and cut their lifestyle.  These conditions and more have led to the biggest employee's market in memory. 

The first quote that shocked me was, "Monster, a global employment website, recently reported 95 percent of employees are considering changing jobs. This is on top of the 4 million people who already followed through and resigned in April."  Following links convinced me that something is really going on here and some percentage of that 95% is actually going to follow up on The Great Resignation.  

The reasons that people quote for thinking of changing their lives largely revolve around changes they went through during the pandemic.  Perhaps they're in a place where they commute long distances and they saved an hour or two every day, so now they don't want to go back to long commutes.  Perhaps they spent more time with their families and want to keep that up - just work a 40 hour week and be around for their kids more of the time.  In unprecedented numbers, people seem to be trying to re-balance their quality of life. 

Then there's this quote:

According to TikTok user @Katieyowyow, a recruiter with over 300,000 followers on the platform, as many as 1 in 4 employees are planning to leave their job this fall. These employees, she says, intend to spend the summer months using their vacation days and enjoying the benefits of full-time employment before they jump ship and turn in their notice in autumn.

Hmm.  Instead of 95% "considering changing jobs," 25% of employees seems more believable, but even that would wreak havoc on tons of employers.

For the final words, related to the perverse incentives that have led to this situation, I turn the floor over to Hannah Cox of FEE.     

Unfortunately, though, trends like “The Great Resignation” are far from being fueled by market incentives and demands alone. Rather, they are the repercussion of bad, big government policies that have severely tampered with the market for the past year.

The federal government has continued to send an increased amount of unemployment benefits to workers, even as the businesses they shut down struggle to open back up. Workers are responding to this perverse incentive in entirely predictable ways, choosing to stay home or work less—often for more pay than they were able to earn in the workforce—for an extended period of time.

Obviously, without the guarantee of a cushy taxpayer-funded unemployment payment, many of these employees would not have the luxury of simply quitting their jobs. They would have to increase their value if they wanted to demand new working arrangements on the market, or build their way into new career paths while still holding down employment in the meantime.


Central planners were warned that these kinds of problems would result from their policies, and yet they persisted anyway. As a result, it is likely we will all continue to see supply shortages and an increase in the price of goods and services.




  1. I wonder how many see the current situation as an opportunity to get out from under the toxic management they currently serve under?

  2. People do what they have incentives to do. Welcome to the crack-up boom.

  3. I hadn't heard of “The Great Resignation of 2021” before, my first thought was something like the "they can't stop us all" Area 51 'event' on FB sometime back.
    The Area 51 thing cracked me up... I've had lunch out at Rachel NV and wondered what would happen if a bunch of people showed up for that.

    The reasons for getting a new job mentioned made sense to me (your time spent your way basically).
    We already are living in interesting times, this would not be so far out there...

  4. My son is pulling the plug on the job he's had for the past 15 years or so. He's also pulling up stakes, and doing a CALEXIT. There's TONS of jobs out here (he's coming here) that are crying for people, and he's fed up with working in retail in the L.A. area.

    1. You can't even afford an a apartment on L.A retail wages. Problem is that stores can't afford to pay more do to the Internet and do to long established mortgages, rents can't come down.

      With high taxes, drought and bad government unless you are very rich or very poor best to get out.

      And yes no doubt the coastal elite think this is grand. Its not California is shockingly old, approaching retirement community average age which means all that cheap labor for quality of life isn't going to be here, Even illegals are getting weary of the place.

  5. There are also some employers who are stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that it is an employee's market. The hospital where I work has a severe shortage of employees. The employees keep telling them that they are leaving for better pay. They now do not have enough employees to fully keep the hospital open, and still the place will not increase pay.

    1. I'm an economic nationalist with populist leanings so that's my bias.

      A lot of employers,A and B suite especially Capital to use Commie talk would rather burn it all down that budge on wages and they have. C.f 2020

      A lot of reasons for this, mainly we have a mendacious insecure upper class who know that many people in the working and middle and even a few in the lower are as good as they are and status is all they crave. Crackhead logic basically.

      If they get f good pay, they will be more equal and that is serious threat. Its why i think these schmoes embrace immigration, racist crap like CRT and other Leftist junk.

      Not only can they virtue signal but only though ruining the lowers can they keep their position in a functional system.

      Dysfunction protects them and so they push it.

      And yes this is Marxian class warfare on waged by an elite against other groups who do not have an identity in the Marxian senses.

      Marxists as always are decent diagnosticians but only know to prescribe bleeding.

  6. paranoid that I am, when I hear of something like this, deliberately designed to damage the U.S. economy, I begin to wonder if some outside/strongly anti-American forces aren't hard at work

    1. Its not. This is an internal issue, workers are fed up with the status quo and found a way out of it.

      The fact that this can possibly wreck the economy is irrelevant , the economy doesn't care about people since its not a real thing , most businesses don't care about people and as such the people are only obligated to care about themselves.

  7. While not exactly the same situation. I have decided it is time to retire early. I have been putting it off for about 6 years now.
    We have reached the point that it is just not worth it to give up time for money anymore.

    1. Time is the most valuable resource you have. It took me awhile to realize that fact.

    2. I also chose to retire this year. Not early since I am past normal retirement age but it just wasn't enjoyable anymore. Between Covid 19, 20 or whatever, and CRT and inclusion training where I worked it just got to be too much.
      ED C

  8. No account of those workers who quit and took better jobs, or workers given bonuses or pay grade increases to stay with their employer. Im sure they exist in number large enough to show on a chart.

    I also wonder how many organizations are revisiting automation and restructuring as ways to cut costs and replace people. My gut is that the folks who quit or plan to quit are a dime a dozen low skilled types who change jobs as often as they use the toilet.

    As for the “Great Walkout” I have no doubt the same big Marxists are funding these tik tok agent provocateurs that are behind the other efforts at destroying the US from within. I believe US central planners absolutely war gamed the effects of the Chinese Bio Weapons release and subsequent shutdown of the US economy to insure maximum destruction. There are too many Phd’s on the government payroll for the current societal and economic effects to have not been predicted.

    Another check in the box on the communist takeover of America.

    1. Not the case. Business is not entitled to cheap labor and if people can use the tools they have to demand better wages and benefits good on them.

      Every employer wants low pay, no benefit Chinese style 9-9-6 (12 hours a day, six days a week) even if this means no babies and no future. .

      No matter how it pans out wages will go up over time and the work week will go down or there will be no future generations to support them system.

      We've had fifty years of low fertility (since 1972 actually 49) buffered by mass 3rd world immigration and the results if that are an unstable Latin American style polity is perpetual decline.

      Now no one is having kids anywhere other than Africa and they are getting there , Good luck running Raytheon or a FIRE economy with that 86 IQ low trust population.

  9. I know people who have and are considering changing jobs. More money, less commute. In one instance a person went to work for a big tech company, and discovered that they really do treat their workers like crap.

    These are not low-skilled folks.

  10. Haven’t taken the vaccine and don’t intend to. My 4 kids have all gotten it because they had to for their jobs, so I have enough to worry about how that will impact them long term.

    Employer is requiring everyone to return to office by end of July … I moved 200 miles away when they told everyone to work from home March 2020 (had 2d home in the mountains already).

    Fortunately, I’m almost at retirement age, and can bail early. So I will make one last trip to office to collect my personal belongings, and tell them to go pound sand. Then will sell my townhouse.

    But I sympathize with anyone being pressured to get vaccinated in order to keep hearth and home together. My only hope is that the companies that force this will get sued into oblivion if long term problems of vaccine appear.

    1. Good to see you taught your children your values while they were young, and that you got yours before everything falls apart!


  11. I worked for a very large defense/aerospace company. That company has gone fullbore pushing Critical Race Theory. Most of the people that work there don't agree with it though they may tolerate it to a degree. But when "White" people start getting no promotions and no pay raises because of CRT, I think they will start fleeing the ship. Where they will go I do not know as all of the big defense companies seem to be jumping on the CRT wagon.

    1. I left a big defense/aerospace company at the end of 2015, and even then it was looking like "white men need not apply." There was no talk of CRT in those days, but it seems to be common knowledge now that white men aren't going to get the job or promotion in the Fortune 500. Especially with the nonsense out of Raytheon this week.

      I had never planned to retire at (not quite) 62, but there were rumors of a layoff coming and they made us all a good offer. I had to talk with HR once about a year afterwards and when I told her my background, she said, "oh, you're one of the fortunate 500." That stuck with me.

    2. Same here. Mother Boeing was stirring back when I worked there, and has probably "woke" by now.

      And I hadn't heard what CF Raytheon was in now. I'll have to go look....

  12. I "had" to retire at 56. Long story, funny and sad at the same time.

    Best thing I've ever done. Of course, I had one of those nifty government pensions to fall back on and only a singly monthly payment. Not an option for everyone, but if you can, Go Galt!

  13. Actions have consequences.

    All gains went to the top 10% , workers have been treated as expendable, wages arbitraged down by half as percentage GDP since the 70's , poor benefits, no retirement and in a lot of places even blue collar jobs where reality ought to be in charge the modern work place is unpleasant and as political as a politburo meeting.

    Plus the Boomers and even some Gen X are hitting retirement age. Hell the oldest Millennials are 40!

    So good on them.

    1. Workers are the "Labor" line on the spreadsheets, just another expense.

    2. Rob, and materials represent vendors who have families. People are not shown on balance sheets. What's your point?

      I wonder how many of you have actually run a functional, successful business.

      To the point of SiG's post, this is another brick in the bankruptcy of the middle class. Any student of history should know the ramifications of the creation of the middle class and the extermination thereof.

    3. Ya they do. My point? It's not people, it's not families it's an entry on a spread sheet in the negative column.
      When the positive column needs to be bigger it can be done in a controlled manner by making the numbers in the negative column smaller.

  14. I work for a company with about a dozen technicians. I know three people I work with who are looking to jump ship in the next few months, all looking for a position with better pay. Reminder, we are not retail, we're in the trades, and have in-demand licenses. Last time my employer lost two techs, it took them three months to get a single replacement. And on top of the three looking to move for a higher wage (two journeyman and one master), we've got one master moving out of the field into a parts management/repair-in-shop position, another journeyman (honestly, should be a master but says he doesn't see the point - not worth the trouble of getting it at this late in his career) who is going to be medically limited, and then two other journeyman who are probably only a year or so from jumping ship and going out on their own, once one of them gets his master's and the other gets his journeyman's in another trade.

    Me? I've got about a year until I get my master's license, and another six months after that until my matched account vests, but I'm already working towards starting my own business, discussing plans and such with the VA and SBA advisors, and pursuing training to make sure I'm as ready as possible.

  15. Let's "circle back" to this story in 6 - 12 months. It's not what people say - it's what they do that matters. Sure, we have some anecdotal stories, but you're not going to have all these folks leaving their jobs. Things will change - like they always do, but nothing like they are talking about here. There will be big shift in remote working and the use of video for meetings to be sure. Large cities are going to take a hit. I'm based in NYC and get paid a nice premium for that. The companies are going to realize they can get someone in Kansas or Iowa to do the same job for less. Employees can afford to work for less since their cost of living is significantly less than in the metro areas of NY, Boston, Philadelphia, etc.