Over 50 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in 2022, smashing the record set the previous year, indicating the remarkable strength of the thriving job market and abundance of opportunities.
The trend of resignations ramped up early in 2021 when the U.S. economy resumed activity after its COVID-19 lull, leading openings to reach extraordinary levels.
Nonetheless, 2022 stands out as “the real year of the Great Resignation,” according to Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter. This illustrates the impact of the job opportunities which emerged during the pandemic.
Competition pushed employers to boost wages at their swiftest pace in recent years — particularly for new employees who had changed jobs — whilst remote work opened up possibilities from local to global markets.
In 2022 50.5 million individuals resigned from their jobs, outstripping the 47.8 million of the previous year, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) statistics published on Wednesday.
To celebrate, resigners took to social media like TikTok and Reddit to post “Quit-Toks.”
Although job quits and layoffs remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, the latest JOLTS data shows that there may be signs of the exuberance gradually waning.
December marked a decline of 423,000 in people leaving their jobs compared to the prior year’s peak in November, while the layoff rate has stayed at its all-time low for 22 consecutive months. According to Pollak, although the number is still remarkable relative to the 2.6 million pre-pandemic average, it is an indication that the trend is slowly fading.
“The labor market moderated through the year, but employers and workers remained confident and optimistic,” said Bunker. “The labor market has been and looks to be a solid foundation for U.S. economic growth.”