Since the global pandemic started in March of 2020, employers are scratching their heads trying to figure out what is happening in the world employee market. A large quantity of things changed and the transformation in the employment market is still underway. The market continues to try to figure out why people are leaving and why employers are having difficulty filling their employment needs.

In this two-part series of blogs, we will review a variety of reasons employees are leaving their jobs, and in the second blog we will review what employers are doing or need to do to find those needed employees. Hopefully, this will shed some light on why employers are having trouble filling the needs.

In May of 2021, EY Global, a professional Services Organization, released the results of a survey call the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, which contained the input from more than 16,000 employees working in multiple industries over 16 countries. The survey found that more than half (54%) of the employees would consider leaving their jobs in the post-pandemic era if their flexible and remote work requirement were not met, leaving employers to wonder why their employees might want to leave a job post-pandemic.

Here are a variety of causes behind the reasons for employee resignations:

  • When employers started asking their employees to come back, a larger percentage have found the virtual or remote work, along with other forms of work flexibility too good for them to give up and have said no to returning to the office or facility. Many employees are highly concerned about their personal safety of returning to a workplace with the pandemic still running.
  • The pandemic created a situation where people re-evaluated their values in life and that work did not match with their long-term goals. This has led a variety of people to change careers and even go back to school and learn a new skill.
  • A large group are driven by the need to be home to care for others, such as ill loved ones, children who cannot attend daycare and more.
  • Wage stagnation is starting to move in a positive direction, pressuring wages upward. If employers are not willing to follow suit with their current employees, they may find their employees will seek better paying jobs elsewhere.
    Among the simpler reasons is giving up things like that long commute and trading it in for a simpler or more flexible job, even if it is farther away from home.

The number of workers quitting their jobs continues to rise. In April 2021, the Labor Department estimated that 4 million people had decided to leave their job. This was a record number that placed job vacancies at a 20 year high. Yet another record was set when in July 2021, a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 49% of small business have jobs they cannot fill, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics are reported that the rate at which people are leaving their jobs was at an all-time high. Statistics are showing that COVID-19 has led to many baby boomers retiring earlier than initially planned.
Industry experts are saying this trend could continue for another 6 to 12 months before we see a downturn in the number of vacant positions.

In my next blog we will look at what employers are doing or need to do to attract employees to their businesses.


CNN (2021, October 21) A record number of Americans are quitting their jobs.
EY Global (2021, May) More that half of employees globally would quit their jobs if not provided post-pandemic flexibility, EY survey finds.
Forbes, (2021, August 2) What is the Great Resignation and How Will This Affect Job Seekers?
HR Daily Advisor (2021, August 30) Why are Employees Leaving During a Pandemic?
The Atlantic (2021, October 15) The Great Resignation is Accelerating.
The Business Journals (2021, November 16) Where are the candidates? How to find talent in the COVID Era.
NPR (2021, October 21) Why people have been quitting their jobs in record numbers recently.
Paycor. (2021) 5 reasons People Quit and 10 Things You Can Do to Make Them Stay.