In Spain we are still unable to speak of a Great Renunciation in American terms, where there are about 4.5 million resignations per month. But our “little resignation” grows bigger every day, and in the first four months of 2022 the number of professionals who have voluntarily left their jobs has skyrocketed to reach a record figure of 5,467 in April alone, the highest recorded to date since these data were collected (2001), according to Social Security enrollment statistics.
The previous all-time high was set in September 2007, at the height of the economic euphoria of the housing bubble, when 4,762 employees quit their jobs.
Exponential growth. Throughout the year 2021 the number of resignations was growing gradually, but since the beginning of 2022 the increase has been exponential. Between January and March of last year there were an average of 2,000 monthly resignations, a figure that increased to 2,600 on average between April and June, decreased again in the summer months and stood at 3,000 a month on average from September to December . Thus, the last month of 2021 closed with 3,168 resignations.
In January 2022, the increase continued to be gradual and reached the figure of 3,275 resignations. However, starting in February, resignations skyrocketed: that month they reached 3,540, in March 4,006 and in April they reached the aforementioned 5,467. The latter represents more than twice as many voluntary job losses as in the same month of 2021 (2,341).
An issue that is beginning to worry. The figures, therefore, show an upward trend that is growing rapidly, although it is likely that with the arrival of summer it will slow down, since it is not usually a time when there are many resignations. The increase is so significant that the Government of Spain is already studying how to deal with the situation and the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, is going to meet soon with the social agents of our country to deal with the phenomenon.
A few weeks ago, Díaz pointed out that, despite the fact that the phenomenon is not having, at the moment, the impact it has in other countries, it is an issue that worries them and they consider it necessary to address it before it escalates. “Spain needs 109,000 workers. Part of these vacancies are in the hospitality sector, but there are others that have to do with the need for highly qualified personnel linked to technological and digital transformation”, he said.
The Great American Renunciation. The phenomenon of the Great Resignation began to occur at the beginning of 2021 in the United States, and consists of the massive and voluntary abandonment of thousands of permanent jobs by people who decide to seek better opportunities without being forced to do so by being fired. Some of them, furthermore, do not even leave when they already have another job tied up.
From 2021 to now, the numbers of resignations in the United States are staggering: about 50 million workers have quit their job. And the phenomenon has been replicated in other countries, such as Italy, where the newspaper La Repubblica informa that 1.3 million employees voluntarily left their jobs in the first nine months of last year.
Image | Cottonbro