Breaking News
More () »

The Great Resignation and what it means for Central Georgia

According to the New York Times, around 40 million U.S. workers are joining The Great Resignation.

MACON, Ga. — The COVID-19 pandemic caused national turmoil and record shattering unemployment numbers. People lost their jobs as businesses closed leading to a 12.3 unemployment rate in April 2020. 

The most recent rate is less than 3%. Many have called this "The Great Resignation" but are we finally seeing an end to a loss that was felt nationwide?

Lafonta Fooks decided to step out in faith and leave her job at a salon to step into the new role of entrepreneur. As I Am Beauty Studio offers clients waxing, hair, and skincare services.

"It's definitely a scary move to make especially when you know that you have had a set income coming in at a certain time frame. So you know if you don't work you don't get paid," she said.

Through good days and even some slow days Fooks says it was time to be her own boss and to be more hands-on with her kids.

"Some things I definitely did not know, but I'm eager and willing to learn and just looking forward to the future," Fooks said.

Nyesha Thomas just quit her seasonal job as a regional field director for a voter outreach organization.

"I decided to leave because of the work time, and the commitment I had to make for the job," she said.

Thomas also felt she had a commitment to her daughter who needed her mom.

"Especially when my daughter got the flu. I realized it would be more important for me to have a work from home job so I can be a better mom and make income," she said.

Currently Thomas does side jobs to get by but says it's not enough.

"Like you said getting by, there's more, I want more. My kids want more," she said.

According to the New York Times, around 40 million U.S. workers joining The Great Resignation. These two Central Georgians are a part of that move.

Credit: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Whether to pursue a dream or more time for family many Americans, and Georgians, have made the change. 

"The great resignation was a term coined in 2021 when we started noticing that a lot of people left the workforce and weren't coming back," Director of the Center for Economic Analysis at Middle Georgia State University Greg George said. 

George says people leaving their jobs do not fit any one demographic, but a large chunk of them are baby boomers. 

"Those are people that are naturally retiring, but that's not the great resignation which are people changing their lifestyles and work habits as a result of the pandemic," he said. 

He says online jobs are becoming more popular, but labor markets are always evolving.

"What we are seeing is its kind of winding down now. The dust is settling from Covid in the labor market, but its left us with a labor shortage in a lot of areas, and its left us with a lot wages going up, which will be problematic for inflation going forward," George said.

Fooks turned over a new leaf, and she's not looking back.

"The Lord says he got my back so I'm going full force throttle with it and I'm just excited," she said.

George says in rural communities like Central Georgia we are returning to normal pretty quick, but Atlanta's labor market isn't bouncing back as fast.

That's the case for most big cities, George said.


Audit: Georgia film tax credit claims exaggerated

Ways to Save: Heating bill tips for changing temperatures in Central Georgia

Before You Leave, Check This Out