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The Great Hesitation?

3 min read

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For months now, we've heard about the Great Resignation. Disgruntled and burnt-out workers are leaving their jobs for greener pastures — wherever those may be.

It's an observable phenomenon impacting the global economy and almost every community within it. It also feeds into a particular popular narrative in our news media: those pesky workers, living off the dole, too good — or too greedy — to do honest work.

But there's another phenomenon we can observe here in Canada: the Great Hesitation. While researching BlackBean's upcoming webinar in partnership with Excellence in Manufacturing on the topic of "Marketing for Talent," we analyzed employment data from Statistics Canada to better understand today's labour market. What we found surprised us.

Stats Canada provides high-level data on job vacancies. They segment vacancies into two broad categories: job losers and job leavers. Job leavers choose to move on; job losers are asked to move on.

https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/8814658/hubfs/Job Leavers vs. Job Losers%2C Oct. 2018 - Oct. 2021 (2).png?upscale=true&width=900&upscale=true&name=Job Leavers vs. Job Losers%2C Oct. 2018 - Oct. 2021 (2).png

We found that job leavers rose modestly through the first months of the pandemic, then remained static or even dropped below pre-pandemic levels up to September 2021. Job losers, however, spiked through the first wave of lockdowns and haven't yet dropped to pre-pandemic levels.

We believe that many of the workers laid off through the past two years are reluctant to return to work in an economy that doesn't value their labour appropriately. We can see this most profoundly in low-paying industries like retail and hospitality, where job vacancy rates are up to three times higher than the national average.

Rather than resigning in disgust, they were pushed out during a crisis and now hesitate to return to work.

https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/8814658/hubfs/Reasons for Loss of Work%2C 2018 - 2021.png?upscale=true&width=900&upscale=true&name=Reasons for Loss of Work%2C 2018 - 2021.png

While the narrative remains focused on workers demanding more from their employers, it's crucial to recognize their role in creating these conditions. When the going got tough, the lay-offs came en masse. Understandable. Now that the world is (largely) open, and those workers are needed, they expect their fair share.

Understandable.

If you want to hear more about how to market yourself as a desirable employer, attract the right talent for your team and drive revenue through culture fit, make sure to sign up for our "Marketing for Talent" webinar on November 3rd at 10 am PST.

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