(NewsNation) — You might have heard of the “Great Resignation,” the economic trend in which millions of Americans have been quitting their jobs since early 2021. Most of those who quit during that period weren’t dropping out of the workforce; on the contrary, they were seeking better jobs.
A new survey also suggests that many of those who quit now regret it. A Harris poll conducted for USA Today found that about one in five workers who quit their job wish they had remained in their old job; meanwhile, only around a quarter of job switchers say they’re satisfied enough with their new job to stay.
Kathryn Minshew, editor of the career development platform The Muse, joined “NewsNation Prime” on Thursday to discuss the poll and broader employment trends.
“I think that the pandemic caused a lot of people to rethink their priorities. It created a wakeup moment for so many folks that I think caused the first wave of the Great Resignation. Unfortunately, what we’re seeing now is those first jobs that a lot of people landed at are not necessarily the right match for the long term,” she said. “And that’s going to continue to, I think, cause a lot of turmoil over the several months.”
More than 4 million workers quit their jobs in February, marking more than 13 million resignations that took place since November. Job switchers often benefited from pay increases at their new jobs, providing a powerful incentive to resign from their former positions.
Indeed, a recent Pew Research Center survey found that 63 percent of people who quit their jobs in 2021 said low pay played at least some role in their decision to quit.
Minshew noted that there are generational gaps in how Americans think about their jobs.
“We did a survey recently on The Muse, which serves primarily Gen Z and millennial job seekers, and 80 percent of them said that they would leave a job in under six months if it didn’t mean expectations,” she noted.
Despite the regrets expressed by some, there is little sign that the Great Resignation is abating. The 4.4 million workers who quit their jobs in February was just barely fewer than the record 4.5 million who quit in November.
Minshew noted that employers are changing how they think about employee retention.
“We work with a lot of employers, a lot of hiring managers at The Muse, and many of them are rethinking the rules of the workplace, the benefits they offer, the way they treat their people, in an effort to not only … attract younger workers but also create an environment that they’ll want to stay in,” she said.