Covid-19 Does A New Number On American Workers
As you settle into that comfortable chair next to the fireplace, eggnog in one hand, pencil in the other, a piece of paper in your lap, and Christmas tunes in the background, you start to take stock of your life. You weigh the highs, the lows, what's really important, what needs to go, what needs to stay, and what really needs to change. Sounds like one heck of a News Year's Resolution coming on!! In fact, such a "rethink" resolution is almost a revolution already.
Ready To Call It Quits
And what it sounds like is millions of us are resolved to break from the past, are quitting our jobs, and are looking for something new in a lot of areas of life.
A record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September. Workers took advantage of the surge in job openings across the country. August’s numbers, at 4.3 million, were also a record at the time. In contrast, in February 2020, before the big wave of pandemic-related layoffs began, 2.3 percent of workers quit their jobs — underscoring that the October data remains extremely elevated.
Introducing The Expert
Frank Luntz is a pollster, analyst, and political consultant who used to have a fairly high profile on FOX NEWS but he fell out of favor and hasn't been seen much since. Tucker Carlson unloaded on Luntz back in May. Newsweek online reported
"Frank Luntz is a smooth salesman," Carlson went on. "That why he's been around for a while. The problem with Frank Luntz is that his views, his personal views, are very different from those of your average Republican voter....Frank Luntz is a conventional liberal. His main clients are left-wing corporations like Google. When Frank Luntz gives advice to congressional Republicans, he's got Google's perspective in mind. That's a huge problem."
Luntz wrote a book a few years back called "What Americans Really Want.... Really." I bought a copy and it's great. He seemed to really get the frustration Americans were feeling at the time about a political class that was/is failing to deliver or even listen. Luntz is back on the trail of disillusioned Americans once again and I think he's on point again. He just recently had a conversation with CNBC and delivered a serious message - Workers are rethinking their priorities and corporations are not prepared.
Covid Changed Everything
Truth - Covid has changed everything. People have had the time and space to reflect on the rat race and to decide to what level, if at all, they'll choose to participate in the future. Workers are recognizing new priorities. The Washington Post writes "high quits numbers are a reflection of what is perhaps the most worker-friendly climate in decades, as workers have the ability to sort through near-record levels of job postings, and many employers are hungry to hire. Many employers have moved to raise wages or offer generous signing bonuses to attract employees".
Lots of older workers aren't going back to their jobs and the younger workers don't want those old jobs under the same old conditions. Luntz warns corporate America to adjust to the new reality. Not fad nor trend, but reality.
Major Events Have Changed The National Mind Before
A hit song just after World War I asked the question - How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm After They've Seen Paree? The lyrics highlight concern that American soldiers from farm country wouldn't want to return to farm life after experiencing the European big city life and culture of Paris during the War. Maybe it's time to blow the dust off that old song and commission a rewrite about going back to the cubicle and the 9 to 5 grind after the freedom generated by working from home during the Coronavirus Pandemic.