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Kentucky leads nation in ‘The Great Resignation’

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:12 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2021 at 1:35 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More people are quitting their jobs in Kentucky than any other state in the country, based on employment population.

According to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 84,000 Kentuckians left their jobs in August, which is 26,000 more than in July. Kentucky’s ‘quit rate,’ or the number of workers who left their jobs in a month compared to the number of people employed was 4.5% in August, double that of Pennsylvania’s and New York’s.

“The challenges in our labor market are complex,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during a COVID-19 press conference. “Some people wanted to say it was unemployment and the unemployment pay; you can’t get unemployment if you quit.”

That begs the question — where are all the Kentucky workers going?

In addition to having the highest quit rate in the nation based on the number of people employed, Kentucky has one of the highest hiring rates, according to the report. Plus, the state has the second most job openings based on worker population.

More quitting, more hiring, and more jobs to choose from gives Kentuckians like Cory Bosemer more opportunities to select a job they believe is the best fit and use the openings as a chance to switch industries.

Bosemer said he is quitting his security job he’s had for more than a year. He told WAVE 3 News the company he works for doesn’t treat their employees fairly and offers minimal pay and few benefits.

“I’m not going to stay somewhere that treats me badly just because it’s a consistent job. I’m not going to do it,” Bosemer said. “I think a lot of people now, Kentucky or not are starting to realize that.”

Eli Mudd left his grocery store job two weeks ago because he didn’t feel supported or safe at work. He is in between jobs but already has a list of things he needs from his next company.

“I will definitely look more for how the company will treat me, because I’ve always been a very hard worker,” Mudd said. “It makes me really upset when I care for the company I work for, and the company doesn’t really care about me.”

Bosemer already has another job lined up in a different industry - he’ll start working in construction supply delivery. He said the company pays more than his previous job and has better benefits.

Beshear told reporters Monday companies might have to “get creative” when hiring potential employees, including improving worker conditions, and possibly boosting pay.

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