Forget America’s Great Resignation – it’s the Great Upgrade

Where are all the workers?
Where are all the workers?(KFYR)
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 5:28 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - We keep hearing about the Great Resignation, but economists say there’s something else going on, something the experts are calling the Great Upgrade. While some Americans are just quitting and not returning to the workforce, many are upgrading for better jobs and better pay.

A report from CNN Business News and Goldman Sachs says two and a half million people are missing from the workforce. Of those, 800,000 have taken early retirement, thanks to their rising home equity and rapidly growing stock portfolios. The rest need to be enticed back into the job market, either by falling COVID numbers, drugs that protect against the virus, or dwindling savings.

But when they do go back to work, they’re taking better jobs at higher pay, often with signing bonuses and offers to pay off student loans, as well as schedules that better fit their lifestyle.

Economists say right now, job seekers hold all the cards.

“I wouldn’t expect it to change, I think the only way that it would change is if opportunities somehow go away. As long as people have an opportunity that’s an improvement for them, we would expect to see them take it,” said Jeremy Jackson, an economics professor at NDSU.

However, as some of the benefits have allowed people to stay home during the pandemic end, economists say people will have to return to work. So the time to take advantage is now.

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