Research News

Ask an Expert: How has COVID-19 changed the workforce?

A record number of Americans have quit their jobs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Labor Department in January reported that the number of workers quitting jobs in November 2021 was 4.5 million, a new record and the latest month in a labor phenomenon known as the Great Resignation.

Dan Cornfield is professor of sociology, political science and American studies at Vanderbilt University, editor-in-chief of Work and Occupations and a fellow of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. Cornfield recently participated in a mini-conference, “Precarious Employment and Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” He offers perspective on what’s driving the Great Resignation and what’s next for labor trends in this stage of the pandemic.