Why are Georgians quitting their jobs at record high rates?

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:23 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A record number of people are quitting their jobs, and some of the highest numbers in the country are right here in our area.

In Georgia, 4 percent of workers left their jobs in August alone. Compared to 3 percent nationwide it’s one of the highest in the country. So why are people leaving and what can employers do to get them back? That’s what Augusta University is trying to answer.

The pandemic has encouraged some people to re-evaluate their work and life balance.

“After people separated from that job and they kind of see how things are playing out, and that does give them the ability to reassess,” said Dale Peeples.

Peeples is an associate professor at AU, and he says after examining the field of occupational psychology shows the pandemic caused many people in the workforce to disconnect.

“We are not as interconnected as we once were. A lot of people were walking outside of the office, they may not feel the same attachments,” he said.

He says although factors like economics and safety risks play a huge role in the worker shortages, employers are also seeing things like responsive management to bring people back to the workforce.

“Employees are motivated by the quality of the relationships at work. When they feel like there is a lot of collaboration, when they feel like they are listened to, they are likely to stay,” he said.

He says many people are looking for a sense of community on the job and making your making employees feel a part of the team helps them feel more invested.

“Because we have seen this demand for labor. People are looking at the job market and seeing what’s available. If you are wanting to retain your employees you may have to watch the market demand,” he said.

Since the start of the pandemic, 37,000 people have dropped out of the workforce in Georgia. Retail jobs, transportation and technical jobs have grown the most over the last month. But the unemployment rate is back to pre-pandemic levels.

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