Last year we blogged about what was being called “The Great Resignation,” the phenomenon of people quitting their jobs and not returning to the workplace. Much of that was a response to the COVID epidemic, with the lockdowns giving people a taste for not going to work and the government relief payments (including unemployment benefit supplements that paid many workers more for doing nothing than they were earning on their jobs) making that, at least for awhile, financially possible.
But now, most of those who voluntarily left the workplace back then still have not come back. The workplace participation numbers are essentially the same as they were back in August of 2020. This, even though pay has shot up, as companies are growing desperate for workers. The labor shortage is throwing off the economy, but it also bodes ill for those who are cultivating idleness and for the culture as a whole.