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A Record 3% Of American Workers Resigned In September Amid Inflation, Plummeting Confidence

Employers are increasing benefits and shifting to work-from-home to keep employees.

Employers are raising pay to lure back workers who are part of the Great Resignation, but it’s proving not enough to keep up with inflation. What's more, it doesn't appear to be working.

A record 3%, or 4.4 million American workers, resigned in September, CBS reported, citing a new government report that also showed roughly 10.4 million jobs were unfilled as of October, dashing hopeful predictions job openings would decline for the month. Employers are battling increased burnout amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to CBS, with many continuing to struggle with childcare, starting their own businesses or job-hopping in search of higher wages, especially in turnover-rich industries such as hospitality.

Employers have responded with more robust pay, though workers aren't necessarily feeling it. Hourly wage growth was up 4.9% last month over October 2020, according to the latest University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. But, CNBC reported, real wages were down 1.2% thanks to inflation, which rose to its highest level in nearly 30 years in the index as consumer confidence hit its lowest point since November 2011.

“Consumer sentiment fell in early November to its lowest level in a decade due to an escalating inflation rate and the growing belief among consumers that no effective policies have yet been developed to reduce the damage from surging inflation,” said Richard Curtin, the survey’s chief economist, who added that 25% of survey respondents said they'd made inflationary reductions to their living standards.

Despite Americans' misgivings about the economy, quit rates are surging and commercial real estate hasn't been immune. The industry is struggling to fill entry-level and property management positions, offering bonuses and higher pay in addition to new benefits such as wellness and new mentorship and training initiatives. Over half of commercial real estate firms report having issues with recruitment, and that finding and replacing talent is proving costly.

The wedge between executives who want workers to return to the office and employees who would rather work from home is complicating matters. A June Randstad survey showed more than half of workers prefer hybrid work schedulesA separate survey from HR Dive stated that burned-out workers are planning on taking vacations more often and checking in less often at work.