Reflecting on the Great Resignation One Year Later

In early 2021, employment experts across the nation started to notice a troubling new trend: a growing number of workers were quitting their jobs en masse.

As the months went on, the phenomenon — fueled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — continued, with more and more workers resigning from jobs they previously appeared to have been happy with. Known as the “Big Quit,” the “Great Reshuffle” or the “Great Resignation,” the trend eventually culminated with millions of workers quitting their jobs, month after month. In June 2021, an estimated ​​3.9 million people left their jobs, and there was a peak of nearly 5 million in November of 2021.

These job resignations occurred across the country but were especially focused in the South and the Midwest. Most people were leaving jobs within the food, service, and retail industries, usually as a result of wage stagnation, the rising cost of living, growing pandemic fears, and long-lasting job dissatisfaction. However, corporate leaders were not immune to the desire to seek something new either as more than 100 CEOs left their posts in the first half of 2021, a more than 100% increase from the same time in 2020.

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