POVERTY, INEQUALITY & OPPORTUNITY
For young service sector workers the “great resignation” often led to an upgrade
While more than half of 18-to-25-year-olds in the service sector left their jobs during the pandemic, the overwhelming majority did so to find better pay and less precarious working conditions. That's one finding of a new report by the Shift Project, a joint research initiative led by HKS Professor Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett of the University of California, San Francisco. The COVID pandemic led labor markets on a wild ride with massive losses followed by massive rehiring and then the “great resignation,” as Americans—especially young Americans—left their jobs in record numbers. Some saw this as the result of an overly generous government support system that incentivized Americans to stay home. The Shift Project, surveying more than 3,000 18-to-24-year-old service sector workers, instead found that 49% of those young workers stayed at their job, 39% left for a new job, and 12% transitioned to unemployment. The researchers found that nearly all those unemployed were actively looking for work, in school, or providing care.