Despite rising inflation, millions of Americans are quitting their jobs. According to a WalletHub study, Montana is ranked sixth for the highest rate of job resignations. As of September 2022, the resignation rate for the state was ay 3.90% and 3.67% over the last twelve months. The resignation rate may provide leverage for new job applicants. 

Nationwide experts who worked on this study answered the following questions when conducting research: What factors influence the workforce shift? How is the labor force decrease affecting employees? Are there any economic impacts from this shift in the workforce? Will it become a long-term issue? Has remote working and the pandemic impacted that change?

One expert is Jia (or Jasmine) Hu from Ohio State University. Hu is the Professor of Management and Coordinator of the Organizational and Human Resources PhD program. She says higher-than-normal quit rates can negatively impact the company’s performance. It may also provide avenues for employees to seek other jobs that better fit their values and expectations. 

Previous studies show that voluntary workplace turnover can lead to human and social capitol losses. It also disturbs workplace relationships and, eventually, hurts performance. The decreased labor force can cause “turnover contagion” for remaining employees. It can show that their jobs are not satisfying, and they may experience negative attitudes about completing work and taking on additional duties. It can also cause damage to the effectiveness of organizations.

Hu adds that the pandemic and remote work showed a change in the labor force. Some employees had feelings of anxiety and isolation. Employees may feel they are not valuable contributors to the company. Remote working can make it harder for employees to establish boundaries between work and personal life. Additionally, there may be more available job alternatives due to this trend of online working.

Whether this will remain a pressing issue, Hu believes it may last for a while since reasons for quitting still exist. “Some industries, such as health care, retail, and hospitality that are hit hardest during the pandemic are seeing higher quit rates than others,” Hu said. “Re-entering these industries may still be challenging due to health concerns about COVID.” Hu also adds that industries like social media, e-commerce, and search engines may become popular professions that may see an increase in labor.

The methodology behind this study looked at the rate of people quitting their jobs in September and over the last year. The data gathered was used to rate resignation rates from highest to lowest. Researchers collected data for this study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.