A record share of American workers are quitting their jobs, thanks in part to a strong economy and a labor shortage.
Does that mean Americans are unhappy with where they work?
The answer would seem to be yes…That’s the narrative driving the Great Resignation, in which workers are simply fed up with their current jobs and demanding something better.
Survey data I’ve been collecting during the pandemic, along with social survey results from previous years, however, suggests this is far from the whole story. Rather than being motivated simply by dissatisfaction, it appears many of them are simply taking advantage of a strong economy to look around, while for others, the pandemic has prompted them to consider their options.
The General Social Survey, a reputable national survey of American adults, has been asking workers questions about how they feel about the quality of their working life since 2002…(and) by and large the vast majority of Americans – at least according to this survey – express moderate to high satisfaction with their work.
But all in all, the survey data doesn’t support the common narrative that it’s a “take this job and shove it” economy, in which increasingly unhappy workers are finally sticking it to their managers.
But, it does appear that enough folks are sufficiently impressed with the potential for changing jobs…even if that percentage has diminished slightly…they are going to look around. Maybe jump ship!