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The 'Big Stay' is here to stay as more workers are choosing to stick with their current jobs

The 'Big Stay' refers to the trend of workers staying in their current jobs for longer periods of time which contrasts with the Great Resignation.

The 'Big Stay' is here to stay as more workers are choosing to stick with their current jobs
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Fauxels

The years 2021 and 2022 saw millions of workers quit their jobs. The period experienced the highest resignation rate the USA had ever seen. Many employees refused to accept extremely low wages and bad working conditions which justifiably led to the 'Great Resignation.' During the COVID-19 pandemic, mid-career workers and those in tech and healthcare jobs quit their jobs at the highest rate. As employees left, it was critical for employers to understand who is leaving and why, not only to protect their employees but also to understand what they were seeking when looking for their next job.

However, the story is quite different in 2023. In 2023, fewer people are quitting their jobs, indicating that the United States is exiting its Great Resignation era. According to the ADP Research Institute, the number of Americans quitting their jobs has decreased by 5% compared to this time last year. Job opportunities in the United States have also decreased by 20% since 2022.

Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Marcus Aurelius
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Marcus Aurelius


Nela Richardson, ADP chief economist, in her research institute data summary, wrote: "The Big Quit of 2022 could be easing into the Big Stay of 2023." The term "Big Stay" refers to the trend of workers hunkering down and staying in their current jobs for longer periods of time. This trend contrasts with the Great Resignation, which saw a record number of workers—4 million per month—quit their jobs in 2021 in search of better pay and benefits, job flexibility, improved work-life balance and career advancement. A guess is some people believe that staying put is safer than taking the risk of changing jobs. The concern is that they will accept a job only to discover later that the company is downsizing.

The prospective employee will rationalize that it's not worth the risk, stress and uncertainty of going on a job search and accepting a position that may or may not work out well for a small pay rise, reports Forbes. It also appears that workers may no longer wield power and the dynamics have shifted once again. It appears to be that a confluence of economic and geopolitical events has caused companies to tighten their belts and cut costs. Companies used to prioritize workers during the Great Resignation, but now they cater to their shareholders. Workers may be delaying quitting to see how things play out or waiting for the job market to shift back in their favor, even if it means staying in a job they despise.

Image Source: Pexels | Photo by fauxels
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by fauxels


Another explanation offered was the sudden gain in job opportunities which didn't last for too long. The number of people returning to the labor force grew. Workers aged 25 to 54 are slightly more likely to be in the labor force than before the pandemic. According to ADP's National Employment Report released last week, 296,000 net new private-sector jobs were created in April, primarily by service-sector employers. The Bureau of Labour Statistics reported 253,000 new public and private jobs in the same month. Both reports also showed a significant increase in hiring since March. That month, more people entered the labor force, which aided hiring in April.

One might think better pay comes with more job opportunities but not for long. Workers' year-over-year pay increases from changing jobs peaked in June 2022 at 16.4 percent. Since then, pay increases for job changers have slowed. This year, the average pay increase for workers who changed jobs was 13.2 percent in April, the slowest rate of growth since November 2021. Is the 'Big Stay' here to stay or do we bid it goodbye too soon? 


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