The Great Resignation – Article by Darcie Jaremey

It’s just been so challenging to predict that we’d be where we’re at today,

After the initial shift to support those working from home in less than ideal circumstances (otherwise known as the kitchen counter/laptop setup), the emerging trend is something that I could have never predicted.

It’s called the Great Resignation.

And, until I dove into the research I didn’t realize how much this would impact the Big Employers (or really any…) out there.

According to my calculations, the total quit rate is up 35% from 2020.

Note: The current “quit” numbers are about 30% higher from pre-pandemic years.

It’s shocking, really.

In 2021, 34 million Americans have quit their jobs… so far.

What are driving these resignation rates and more importantly, how does Ergonomics fit into this new world?

I think that this is a tremendous opportunity for those specialising in ergonomics assessments to add value to employers. I’ll explain more. 

Coined in 2019 by an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, Anthony C. Klotz, the Great Resignation (also known as the ‘Big Quit’) describes the ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs post-pandemic. The number is actually staggering: more than 34 million American employees have resigned from their jobs this year, according to the latest data from the US Labor Department. The resignation peaked in April, just around the time the economy began to recover, but the trend seems to be picking up speed for the last few months. The latest data from the US Labor Department shows that 4.4 million people resigned in September, up from 4.3 million in August.

One important thing to note is that companies in different industries have a great difference in turnover rates. A recent study from the Harvard Business Review had found that the tech and healthcare industries are seeing the most resignations this year, while the manufacturing and finance sectors are only noticing a slight decline. Resignations increased by 4.5% in tech, and 3.6% more healthcare employees quit their jobs compared to last year.

What’s Driving the High Resignation Rate?

Some state that the reason why employees are resigning is simply that they want to shift to a different career path altogether. Others also say that the demanding remote work led employees to reconsider their priorities, resulting in some looking for more pay, balance, and flexibility in their work. This comes as no surprise as resignation rates were higher among employees working in fields that had seen a sharp increase in demand during the pandemic, including healthcare and tech, likely due to increased workloads and burnout. Many companies, largely in the US, are feeling the effects of this wave of resignation.

Fast facts, by the numbers:

  • 73% of 380 employers in North America were having difficulty attracting employees, and 70% expect this difficulty to persist into 2022.
  • 46% of full-time employed U.S. adults are either actively looking for or considering a new job search.
  • The unemployment rate declined to 4.6% from 4.8% in September, which means that employees now have the upper hand.

Looking at the numbers, it seems that there’s been a shift in the employment scene. The high resignation rate has turned the tables from having been an employer’s market to being an employee’s market, and with more than 10 million jobs open right now, employers have no choice but to respond to it or risk losing their top employees. This is where ergonomics and our services come in.

The Great Resignation, A Great Opportunity?

There are several steps employers can take to mitigate the impact of resignations, but one key strategy is making sure that employees are getting the RIGHT ergonomic equipment and proactively identifying warning signs of occupational injuries before they can progress. There’s so much value in having this conversation with employers.

-Darcie Jaremey MSc CPE

Founder of