Should I quit my job? We ask the expert | Social trends
With the pandemic, workers have said “I quit!” In their mass. In the United States, employees have piled into their jobs at such a rate that a new term has been coined – the Great Resignation – and alongside it, countless newspaper articles have appeared about the career change. But in the UK, are as many people giving up as we think? And would the New Year’s biggest resolution be to join us? I asked Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies.
Is Britain’s Great Resignation Underway?
We have seen more people quit their jobs than at any time before: it was around 400,000 in the three months of July to September 2021, up from 270,000 during the same period in 2019 – the last year without a pandemic. The UK has a vibrant labor market, with high turnover, especially in low-paying jobs. And when large parts of the economy reopened, more jobs were created.
What does this mean for the 1m record vacant jobs did we hear about it last September?
This means that we are now 1.3m away.
Why can’t we fill all of these vacancies?
In the UK we don’t have an unemployment crisis, we have a participation crisis. There are about a million fewer people in the workforce than there would have been if the previous trend of more people entering the workforce had continued. This trend was partly due to immigration, but also to the fact that more women are working and an aging population is working longer. Last year was the first time since the 1990s that the workforce has shrunk, in part due to sick leave, but mainly due to people retiring. older people, especially women. These people were not working during the pandemic, due to job loss or leave, and thought, “I don’t want to go back to this. The conditions are not great.
So for all the headlines on the young professionals who leave the mad rush for a higher vocation of luxury candles or whatever, are it actually older people who are driving the seismic change? Too bad, because I enjoyed blaming the labor shortages on Brexit.
We can’t blame everything on that. Yes, we have a lot of low-paying and precarious jobs, but of the 4 million jobs created in the last decade, over 90% were relatively high-skilled jobs.
We have talked a lot about job creation and destruction. Is there still a lifetime job?
If you want a job for life then join the royal family. But it is a rather difficult club to integrate. Otherwise, no, there isn’t.
You don’t seem confused by this. What about the romance of “I’m a Carpenter.” My father was too ”?
This is an important question. Many communities have been defined by industries, and there can be psychological scars when their identities are disrupted, as during the deindustrialization of the 1980s and 1990s. But throughout history we have always been faced with massive changes, even when they’ve been imperceptibly slow. It is important to train people for the jobs that exist and those that do not yet, and to support people so that no one is left behind. This is what we call inclusive growth.
One last question, Tony – is this a good time to quit our jobs?
Maybe now is a good time to ask for that pay rise – telling your boss you’ve seen that there are 1.3 million vacancies, and the Institute for Employment Studies says it there are a lot of highly skilled and well paid jobs.