Resig-Nation: The states with the highest and lowest job resignation rates | The Numbers Racket

‘The motivations for this shift should become clearer as additional information emerges, but there seems to be a mix of economic, practical, and psychological factors at play,’ Hendrickson said

By: - February 7, 2022 6:30 am

The fight over the minimum wage continues (AP Photo/John Raoux/The Conversation).

Dubbed the “Great Resignation,” the mass reshuffling of Americans from one job to another during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a record-setting 4.5 million workers quitting their jobs as of last November, according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Whether it’s one of the myriad effects of the 862,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States, a reshuffling of priorities, or just the desire for a change, Americans are making moves. 

To track those moves, last month, WalletHub, a personal finance website, released a report ranking all 50 states and the District of Columbia by their resignation rates. 

Here’s what they found:

Source: WalletHub

Below are the states with the highest job resignation rates: 

  1. Alaska, 5.20 percent in December; 3.80 percent over the last year.
  2. Wyoming, 4.70 percent in December; 3.22 percent over the last year.
  3. Georgia, 3.90 percent in December; 3.59 percent over the last year.
  4. Kentucky, 3.80 percent in December; 3.42 percent over the last year.
  5. Montana, 3.90 percent in December; 3.25 percent over the last year.

States with the lowest job resignation rates: 

  1. New York, 2.00 percent in December; 1.83 percent over the last year. 
  2. District of Columbia, 2.00 percent in December;1.91 percent over the last year. 
  3. Pennsylvania, 2.00 percent in December; 2.13 percent over the last year. 
  4. Washington, 2.00 percent in December; 2.33 percent over the last year. 
  5. Massachusetts, 2.20 percent in December; 2.18 percent over the last year. 

Speaking to WalletHub about their findings, Erin Hendrickson, a law professor at William & Mary Law School said that there are a mix of motivations causing the en-mass resignations. 

“The motivations for this shift should become clearer as additional information emerges, but there seems to be a mix of economic, practical, and psychological factors at play. Low-wage jobs have seen some of the highest rates of attrition, suggesting that these employees no longer view their compensation to be worth their time and effort,” Hendrickson told WalletHub. “In addition, many of these low-wage jobs are in the service industry, where workers may worry about being exposed to Covid, especially when these employees often lack benefits that other workers may take for granted, like employer-sponsored health insurance, paid sick leave, and the ability to work from home.”

But there are factors other than low wages that might be contributing to the resignations, Hendrickson said. 

“For example, some studies have indicated that a higher percentage of women (as compared to men) have quit their jobs in recent months. Since women often carry more responsibility for childcare, this statistic suggests that parents may be having difficulty finding childcare and/or struggling to balance work with the demands of remote learning,” Hendrickson said. “On top of this, the pandemic has caused many of us to reflect on our lives and how we would like to spend whatever time we have left. I imagine that some workers have decided to retire early, that some hope to find a way to permanently work from home, and that others hope to change careers altogether.”

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.