October 12, 2022
A “Great Resignation” Reality Check
In journalism, you’re told that if your mother tells you she loves you, check it out. In other words, you can’t believe anything anyone says — even your mom — without verifying it with a credible source.
In my nearly 40 years in journalism, I’d like to think that I’ve been pretty accurate in my reporting. I can count on one hand the number of mistakes I made that required a correction. They still haunt me.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been reading a lot and hearing a lot about the “great resignation” in healthcare — people quitting their jobs at levels not seen before. I’ve taken it at face value. Why would healthcare consultants, vendors, suppliers, trade associations and professional membership societies lie about such things? (Sarcasm intended.)
So, feeling guilty about accepting the “great resignation” in healthcare as fact, I decided to check it out by looking at some statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. And, as far as the BLS is concerned, the “great resignation” in healthcare is true.
Here are the BLS numbers:
The number of people who quit their healthcare jobs in 2021 jumped more than 25 percent last year. If you were to pick a year that the “great resignation” started in healthcare, the answer would be 2021, or a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
This year will be more of the same. Through August of this year, 4,266,000 people quit their healthcare jobs, according to the latest figures from the BLS. With resignations averaging about 533,000 a month, my basic math tells me that the total for 2022 will be 6,399,000. We’ll see.
At the very least, I can reference the “great resignation” in healthcare in my stories with confidence because I finally checked it out. I do, though, assume that my mom loves me.
Thanks for reading.