Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs -- and Women Are Leading the Way

Happy businesswoman leaving job with box of belongings.

Image source: Getty Images

The pandemic inspired a lot of people to make changes. For some, that meant shoring up their finances and building savings. For others, it meant buying a home, selling a home, or relocating to a whole new part of the country.

And then there are the millions of people who were inspired to quit their jobs. Despite rampant unemployment, a whopping 4.3 million resigned from their jobs in August, followed by a record-breaking 4.4 million resignations in September. And payroll provider Gusto reports that women were more likely to quit their jobs than men since the start of the pandemic.

Why women are quitting their jobs in droves

It's not a secret that women are commonly paid less money than men for doing comparable jobs. A big reason women may be quitting today is frustration over the gender pay gap. Those who feel they're not being compensated adequately may be eager to go off and pursue more lucrative career opportunities rather than settle for their existing jobs.

But some women may be resigning from their jobs not by choice, but out of desperation. Many families are struggling to find affordable childcare these days. And in the absence of it, some families may be making the decision to have one parent stay home rather than lose the bulk of their income to daycare costs. Since women tend to earn less money than men, it stands to reason they'd be the ones to opt out of the workforce.

Should you quit your job?

Whether you identify as male or female, you may have reached the point where you're eager to leave your job and find a new one. Or, you may decide it makes sense to take a career break and focus on raising a family, especially if childcare costs have been eating into your salary in a substantial way.

There's nothing wrong with pursuing new job opportunities if you're unhappy with your current role. But before you quit your job and drop out of the workforce for a while, ask yourself whether you can really afford to do so. While you may not bring home a lot of money after accounting for expenses like childcare, if your family relies on your income to stay afloat, then giving up your earnings could put your household at risk of debt.

Furthermore, consider the other benefits you may have to give up. If your employer provides subsidized health insurance, buying a replacement plan could end up being quite expensive, even with subsidies being in place.

If you'll be quitting your job to find a new one, make sure to research salary data for that role ahead of time. If you know what you should be getting paid, you'll be in a stronger position to negotiate.

At the same time, don't be afraid to talk salary relatively early on in the process. In the past, bringing up salary early on was considered taboo. But in today's labor market, many companies are desperate to hire, and so you might as well make sure you and a potential employer are on the same page as far as pay goes before getting deep into the interview process.

The fact that women have been quitting their jobs at a faster pace than men during the pandemic isn't necessarily surprising. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to find a better job in today's economy. But whether female employees end up going after them in the coming months is yet to be determined.

Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until 2023

If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our expert loves this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR until 2023, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee.

In fact, this card is so good that our expert even uses it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Read our free review

We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for the TradeTalks newsletter to receive your weekly dose of trading news, trends and education. Delivered Wednesdays.