Key Insights

  • The number of U.S. workers quitting their jobs has soared higher into the millions. 
  • As job openings decreased so did unemployment rates among Black workers, some of which left their jobs due to unaddressed racial issues. 
  • Across industries, Black workers are eyeing better employment opportunities.

Workers across the U.S. are finding more reasons to leave their jobs than reasons to stay, citing burnout, being overworked amid shortages in some industries and pay that hasn’t kept track with inflation. But for Black workers, unaddressed racial issues in the workplace are among the long list of causes fueling the Great Resignation. 


A Bureau of Labor and Statistics report released earlier this month shows that the number of people quitting their jobs is at an all-time high as of November 2021, the latest month for which data is available. 


Four and a half million people voluntarily left their jobs in November, an overall increase of three percent from the month before, which was also a series high at the time. Conversely, the number of job openings has decreased, meaning workers are jumping ship to land better opportunities elsewhere. 


The Plug reported on how The Great Resignation was impacting Black workers, who last year left work to start their own business at rates higher than any other race. Black knowledge workers also reported leaving their organizations because they failed to cultivate a sense of belonging. 


Black workers across the board also continue to face higher rates of unemployment than their peers of other races, but data indicates that rates of unemployment are rebounding. 


As of December 2021, the unemployment rate among Black workers was 7.1 percent, a decrease from 10 percent the year prior yet well above the national 3.9 percent unemployment rate among all U.S. workers and the 3.2 percent unemployment rate among white workers. 


Whether it’s high-profile quittings or industry-shaking turnovers among hourly workers, The Great Resignation is still very much in effect.