“The Great Resignation”

Raul Padilla, Features Editor

The Renegade Roundtable came together for this year’s last Levan Center event. The event hosted was a talk titled, “The Great Resignation”, in which the topic of the gradual decline in employment throughout the country is discussed among the four panel members. The meeting was held on April 7, via Zoom Webinar.

Hosted by Reggie Williams, guests David Moton, an English professor at BC, Javier Llamas, a History professor, and Savanna Andrasian, English professor, also spoke during the event.

The topic began with the discussion of what was considered the start of the “Great Resignation” marked at the start of when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country.

“We’ve all got anecdotal evidence since COVID first started” Moton began with.

The event is marked by the widespread shortage of both minimum wage as well as middle class jobs throughout the country, such as in restaurants and hotels as many resigned due to world circumstance at the time.

What was then discussed was the current generation, and how they seem to have been reaching their breaking point with the current economic situation, with the costs of living not keeping up with the payment they were receiving for their work.

Andrasian supported this discussion by bringing up inflation throughout the country as the years had gone by, in which the cost of living and minimum wage were both compared, showing the steep disparity between the two growths.

“It’s unsustainable, and it’s going to capsize” she explained during the discussion.

Making the problem worse was also realization by some that unemployment paid better than the jobs they worked all day.

While the unemployment rate had been on a gradual increase throughout the years, it was the arrival of COVID that it had suddenly spiked, causing the current situation.

Childcare and its rising cost was also brought up, with its rising costs meaning that it was more beneficial for parents at the time to stay at home and gain unemployment benefits rather than to work all day and pay their wages to childcare providers.

The discussion then shifted towards the root of the problem, in which they agreed the source came from the U.S.’s current workplace culture.

The previous generation’s mindset of working very hard to the top is now seen as harmful by today’s generation. The desire for work benefits and advancement is outpacing what has been provided.

They then began to discuss potential solutions to the problem, with the main obstacle being motivation to make necessary changes.

“It’s going to take a threatening movement in order to make any change in that regard, and as of now there is no hint of that movement occurring, everyone is just burnt out.” Moton explained.

Despite this, the talk concluded with stating and supporting that change will ultimately need to come from the people themselves to start the necessary movement.