LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The record pace of Americans quitting their jobs in 2021 led to the term the Great Resignation. Now, a new report shows Nevada had the nation’s second-highest quit rate for employees last year.
According to the Chamber of Commerce report, in Oct. 2021, job openings reached near-record levels amidst widespread labor shortages, and in Nov. 2021, the number of quits totaled 4.5 million nationwide and most were in lower-paying jobs such as hospitality, food services, and retail.
While the nationwide quit rate in 2021 was 3%, Nevada’s was 3.8% with around 500,000 people quitting their jobs. Nevada placed right behind Alaska which took the top spot.
The Chamber of Commerce ranked states based on Bureau of Labor numbers, which show Nevada had 109,000 job openings in Nov. 2021.
Andrew Woods, a business and economic expert at UNLV, said it’s less about quitting and more about workers wanting to re-evaluate their economic choices.
In a separate study by UNLV regarding workplace policies, respondents ranked pay as being very important, followed by transparency in pay scale, health, and safety.
Woods said healthcare workers are among those who have also left their jobs and that may have more to do with burnout.
“I think a lot of that is they’ve been through what some people have described as war when you’re working in these ER rooms with COVID and they’ve seen a lot. They want a different job,” Woods said.
He said the pandemic gave people a lot of time to think about what they actually want out of their work, particularly those in customer-facing or frontline industries.
The pressures of the pandemic were also enough for a significant number of people to move up their retirement which contributed to the number of job openings.
“Also the reason why I think we’re facing worker shortages is you also have a large amount of retirements, early retirements among baby boomers. That was a trend demographers have been watching and warning about for years. I think the pandemic just accelerated that,” Wood said.
Jobs in trade, transportation, and warehousing have grown during the pandemic. More than 11,000 jobs were created in those areas in Clark County over the past two years.