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Quitting During Great Resignation Has Been Good for Workers: Survey

  • Most workers who quit during the Great Resignation say it’s boosted their quality of life, per a new survey.
  • Most people found new jobs quickly with better pay, more opportunities, and more flexibility. 
  • But benefits remain a sticking point: Less than half say their new job has better benefits.

It looks like the Great Resignation has turned out pretty well for most workers. 

That’s according to a new Pew Research Center survey, which asked US adults about their reasons for quitting their jobs, as well as how things worked out for them after they quit. The findings showed that those who voluntarily left their jobs in search of something better generally found it. 

Pew’s survey of 6,627 non-retired adults, conducted between February 7 and February 13, included 965 people who quit in the last year. People cited several primary reasons for leaving their jobs, including low pay, no opportunities for advancement, and feeling disrespected at work.

Child care issues and lack of flexibility played a role for many people as well, the survey found. 

Most of the people who quit said they found another job quickly — more than half said they’re currently employed full time, and 61% said it was at least somewhat easy to find their new job, according to the survey. 

And those who quit found a better quality of life as well: 56% said they’re making more money, 53% said they have more opportunities to move up the ladder, 53% said it’s easier to balance their work life and family life, and 50% said their work schedules are more flexible. 

One sticking point appears to be benefits, according to Pew’s research. Only 42% of people who quit said they have better benefits now and 36% said their benefits situation, which includes things like health insurance and paid time off, is pretty much the same. Nearly a quarter of workers say their benefits are now worse than at their last job.

The Great Resignation, one year later

The idea of a Great Resignation began percolating in the spring of 2021 and continued throughout the year, with a record 4.5 million workers quitting in November alone, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. 

In fact, the news of so many people quitting may have even influenced people to quit their own jobs, Insider reported

The unusually high quit rate has led to a shortage of workers across industries and a rush to fill open positions. On the employment website CareerBuilder, for example, the number of monthly job postings jumped from roughly 1 million in February 2021 to over 1.8 million in February 2022.

Nursing roles and counselor positions have seen triple-digit percentage increases in the last two years, the company said Wednesday. Other sectors — like hospitality, retail, and foodservice — consistently saw high quit rates throughout 2021. 

Pew’s findings align with stories from those who left their jobs in the last year. An ICU nurse told Insider that working through the pandemic led him to quit in search of less stress. One teacher quit her job after more than a decade in the field to become a plumbing apprentice, telling Insider that teaching remotely wasn’t for her. Childcare workers told Insider they quit in search of better pay

“I think a lot of people are looking to better themselves,” Labor Secretary Marty Walsh previously told Insider. “They’re quitting the job that they’re in, and they’re going to be looking for better-paying jobs and more opportunities.”

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