Editorial | Rethink the employment situation

Especially in 2021, as a consequence in part of the pandemic, but with deeper causes, a unique phenomenon has been detected in the United States that has been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ (The Great Resignation): these are millions of workers who have left their jobs with explicit resignations, early retirement, a new order of priorities or a desire to stand to improve. The figures are unusual and eloquent: 4.3 million left their job in August and 4.4 million in September, highly significant data that respond to many different reasons that experts still do not dare to identify exactly. Nobel Laureate in Economics Paul Krugman assures that “the pandemic brought many American workers to reconsider your life choices and rethink your life & rdquor ;. At the same time, during this period, the number of retirements has doubled the usual. And, in another vein, but in a context closely related to the phenomenon of abandonment, support for trade unions and there have been at least 160 strikes gauge in the US.

So we are talking about a major trend that we still cannot say whether it responds to a specific moment, the result of the impact of the pandemic and its multiple variables, or to a more structural change in labor relations. It agrees remember that the unemployment rate in the United States is 4.6%, and that both the job offer, which is maintained and grows, and federal aid, which has acted as an economic cushion, influence this case. At the heart of the matter, underlies what has been called ‘burnout’ or burned worker syndrome. That is, the perception that both working conditions and salaries or job satisfaction do not meet expectations. The pandemic, in this sense, has meant a kind of turning point for all those who have decided to reformulate their lives, either due to accumulated fatigue, or with the prospect of change and improvement, in a much more dynamic market than the Spanish one.

This phenomenon has also occurred in Italy, with nearly half a million workers who resigned in the second quarter of the year (85% more than in the same period of 2020), but in our country, with an unemployment rate of around 15%, the situation is very different . The report published by EL PERIÓDICO confirms that workers with an indefinite contract they do not abandon their posts, and that those who live in temporary precariousness (one in four) find themselves in a vicious circle from which they would like to leave but cannot, for the very fragility of the work environment and due to the lack of resources with which to face day-to-day or future prospects.

What the two scenarios do coincide (the American and the Spanish) is in the need to stop that has generated the pandemic, a data analyzed by the experts from the psychological perspective. In some sectors, such as healthcare, frustration and the feeling of having reached the limit are evident, but the “vital choices & rdquor ;, no matter how much the worker is willing to lead another rhythm of life, are directly related to the personal and family risk of going on an adventure that, here and now, seems too risky.

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Editorial | Rethink the employment situation