What is the Great Resignation?

Amy Sterling Casil
3 min readSep 25, 2021


Have you been thinking about quitting your job? You along with many others –

The “Great Resignation” is something that millions of US workers are doing. They’re quitting their jobs in ways they never have before. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced shut-downs and got everyone who could do so working from home, everyone dealt with it to the best of their ability. But being away from the office for extended periods, along with working at home, led to a lot of questions.

Along with home-based workers, we have all the “heroes” who continued working throughout the crisis: hospitality, food, healthcare, emergency, and other essential workers. In some places construction shut down. In others, it kept going. Trucks kept delivering food and fuel.

According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 3.9 million people quit their jobs in April 2021 and the trend is continuing. Anywhere between 6 and 7 million people in the US quit their jobs between January and July 2021. The job categories with the highest quit rates are:

  • Retail
  • Warehousing
  • Food service

The next-highest category of workers who’ve quit are “professional and business services.” This includes office workers.

Almost every major publication, from TV networks to newspapers and magazines, has one or more major articles talking about “The Great Resignation.” The numbers add up to about 4 to 5% of the U.S. workforce, which reportedly reached over 164 million people right before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Less work and better work-life balance

A professor of management at Texas A&M’s School of Business, Anthony Klotz, has been studying why people quit their jobs for most of his academic career. Prof. Klotz told the L.A. Times that “We all want to pursue life, liberty and happiness, and many of us have realized our job isn’t the best way to get there.” Prof. Klotz also said that “a number of people don’t want to work 40 hours a week, they want to do 20 or 30.”



Amy Sterling Casil

Over 500 million views and 5 million published words, top writer in health and social media. Author of 50 books, former exec, Nebula nominee.