Job experts forecast 2 more waves of resignations soon, triggered by omicron

Experts say ultimately, this could lead to higher prices and inflation for everyone.

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ByDavid Louie KGO logo
Saturday, January 8, 2022
Experts predict omicron will trigger 2 more waves of resignation
Experts say there are signs omicron is about to set off new waves of workers quitting their jobs in what's been called 'The Great Resignation."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The nation's economy is off to a rocky start in 2022 with Friday's jobs report. While unemployment fell slightly to 3.9 percent, job growth was lower than expected. Now, there are signs omicron is about to set off new waves of workers quitting their jobs.

RELATED: The Great Resignation: Young adults quitting low-paying jobs for better career, future

If restaurants and retailers think their staffing shortage is bad now, work force analysts say COVID is about to trigger not one, but two more waves of the so-called "Great Resignation."

"It has occasioned a lot of thought, introspection and new approaches to people as they think about not only their jobs, but their core values," said Russell Hancock Ph.D., president & CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Recent surveys claim two out of every three workers are thinking about quitting. A new wave of resignations is expected now that the holidays are over and some have received year-end bonuses,. A second wave will follow when companies implement their back to the office policies, postponed by the omicron surge.

VIDEO: How to make the 'Great Resignation' work for you and your career

As the pandemic caused many to lose their jobs -- or reconsider the ones they have -- workers are reprioritizing what's important in their careers.

"You cannot make 100 percent of your people happy, is what we're seeing in the data, and so I think this will spark a second wave of the Great Resignation as individuals come to terms with the fact that they have a preference that is not fully aligned with the path their employer has chosen," said Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse.

The Muse counsels job seekers. As job vacancies grow, employers are revising their hiring requirements to fill them.

"You know what? If you have the base skills, and you have the desire to learn, come on in, and we'll train you," Minshew said.

That opens a door to service workers who might not have skills in other fields. While there's risk in quitting a job, demand for workers is also raising pay.

RELATED: Americans quit their jobs at a record pace in August

"Folks will have higher demands at the negotiation table," said Joint Venture's Hancock. "Cost of living adjustments will have to be made. Those are always, of course, passed on to the consumer and to the customer, and so we're entering a spiral."

That could lead to higher prices and inflation for everyone.