Great Resignation led by women and front-line workers

American workers’ stampede toward the exits hasn’t let up, but recent surveys show that it’s primarily women and workers in the food, retail and hospitality sectors making career changes at the highest rates. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, workers resigned from 4.4 million jobs in September, but the turnover was far from evenly spread across the job market. About three in 10 people are considering leaving their jobs, according to research from consulting firm Mercer LLS, which is pretty consistent with historical trends. However, while front-line and low-wage positions typically see high rates of turnover, employees in those roles are especially likely to leave now. 

Additionally, a survey from software maker Qualtrics found that 65% of female middle managers say they intend to stay at their current jobs for the next year, down from 75% percent a year ago. 

Among front-line and low-wage workers in Mercer’s survey, 37% of food, retail and hospitality staffers are thinking of quitting, up from a historic norm of 27% among 8 million employee responses collected by the company over the past five years. Chief among workers’ reasons for leaving is burnout and insufficient pay or benefits. 

In a labor market where job openings outnumber applicants, companies are brainstorming how to get more candidates in the door. The hiring overhaul signals a potentially broad rethink of job qualifications, which could help candidates get jobs previously out of reach, according to economists and workforce experts. Read the full story.