The Labour and Social Security Ministry has put stakeholders on notice that the global phenomenon dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ appears to have spread to Jamaica, and could have a potential negative impact on the island’s labour market.
The ‘Great Resignation’ is described a trend where people are exiting the labour force in droves and employers are now struggling to fill the resultant job openings.
In the United States, for example, a record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August of this year, according to new data from the Labour Department, US media reports said.
Many of the resignations took place in the retail and hospitality sectors, with employees opting out of generally difficult, low-wage jobs.
Employees there are demanding higher wages, better working conditions, more mobility, among other things, from their employers.
Locally, Chief Technical Director in charge of productivity at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Tamara Nelson, said attention must be paid to the phenomenon, as the trend has been seen in Jamaica.
She made the statement at last week’s siting of Parliament’s Economy and Production Committee.
“Globally, workers’ attitude towards employers have changed, and is now dubbed ‘the Great Resignation of Employees’, and there are trends right across the world where persons are leaving work sometimes not to another job, but just for a change, having gone through the pandemic and been through different working situations,” she said.
Nelson added that some senior executives of entities globally were also leaving their jobs.
Continuing, Nelson said: “So there is a huge skill gap or talent deficit that is seen worldwide and it is also dubbed the ‘Great Attrition’…
“We are also seeing that trend here in Jamaica and we need to pay very close attention to that,” she declared.
And, according to Divisional Director of industrial relations and allied services in the Labour and Social Security Ministry, Gillian Corrodus, it appears that some Jamaicans were willing to venture into doing their own businesses, rather than be employees in the island.
She said these persons were engaged in businesses both locally and internationally.
“This global trend in terms of the ‘Great Resignation’ is something that Jamaicans need to be mindful of, especially since I have come into information from the Companies Office of Jamaica that suggests that it processed 3,000 new company applications and over 12,000 business name registrations in 2020-2021, representing a record number of new business activity in Jamaica,” she stated.
“This shift from employee to self-employed or own-account worker is noteworthy in terms of the labour market in Jamaica,” added Nelson.