January 26, 2022
The New York Times recently published insight featuring Jay Zagorsky, Senior Lecturer in Markets, Public Policy, and Law, on his analysis of the recent workforce data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The problem with very high quits rates is that businesses have to ensure jobs are very easy to learn and take no firm-specific skills. When quits rates soar, businesses de-skill jobs and the end result is the opposite of what workers want.”JAY ZAGORSKY
Senior Lecturer in Markets, Public Policy, & Law
The article speaks to the recent surge in career changes often described as the “Great Resignation”, which is reflected in the recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What is not reflected in media headlines is the fact that the numbers reflected in the data only go as far back as December 2000, potentially masking waves of resignations that may have been considerably higher in previous decades. To highlight this point, the article compares the “quit rate” during World War II to today, which appears to dwarf the current spike.