Notre Dame professor on the end of the Great Resignation and its impact on the labor market

Dan Graff, a professor of practice and the director of the Higgins Labor Program at the University of Notre Dame, talks with Rose about the end of the Great Resignation and the impact it had on the labor market. (Courtesy of Dan Graff)

A year into the pandemic, the labor market saw a tidal wave of job resignations. Close to 100,000,000 resignations between 2021 and 2022, to be exact. According to the Pew Research Center, people left their jobs for reasons such as low wages, no opportunities for advancement and a lack of respect.

Then, after reaching its peak in August 2022, the so-called Great Resignation started to recede, according to labor analysts.

Dan Graff, the director of the Higgins Labor Program at the University of Notre Dame, says the Great Resignation signaled what American workers need: allies at the policy level.

On Wednesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” he told show host Rose Scott that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, workers didn’t stop working completely, they moved into other job sectors to make financial gains.

“American workers are back working, the ones who left are in new jobs,” said Graff, who has written and published extensively on the histories of work, race and citizenship in the United States.

During the conversation, Graff further discussed the impact the Great Rejection had on women and workers of color. He also talked about the strong need for pro-worker policies and the Just Wage Tool, that he created with his colleagues with the hopes of creating a more equitable economy.