Workers across the country are quitting their jobs in what's being called the "Great Resignation." But some states are getting the lion's share of workers waving goodbye.
Georgia, Illinois and Kentucky saw the biggest jump in the number of quits between July and August of this year, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Georgia saw around 35,000 more people quitting in August compared to July, while Illinois saw around 32,000 more and Kentucky, 26,000 more. Across the country, the number of quits increased by 242,000 between the two months, with record 4.3 million quits in August. Before the pandemic, that number was around 3.5 million per month.
As a result, the U.S. is currently facing a record labor shortage, with millions of job openings. Throughout 2021, employers have been frantically trying to fill roles. Many companies, particularly those affected by ongoing issues with the global supply chain — are kicking hiring efforts into high gear going into the holiday season. Employers are offering free college tuition and child-care benefits, on top of more money and flexibility. Some, like Amazon, are eliminating drug tests in order to fill positions. More than 10% of seasonal jobs postings on the hiring site Indeed.com noted in the description that hiring was “urgent,” up from 1% the year before.
So, why is everyone quitting?
Across industries, employees are at the end of their ropes: 35% of men and 42% of women say they are burned out, according to a recent study from McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org. Many workers in fields that require being face-to-face with the public every day—like health care, retail and hospitality jobs— are quitting their jobs in droves at a particularly rapid clip.
Hires are also down in 17 states, according to the most recent BLS data. The largest slumps were in Illinois, which saw 115,000 fewer hires in August than July, New Jersey, which saw 36,000 fewer hires, and Ohio, which saw 31,000 fewer hires. The number of hirings fell by 439,000 nationally during that time period.