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A smorgasbord of employment choice leaves the talent pool shallow.


6 April, 2022

Aiden Heke,


 Decision Inc. Australia

In part 1 of our three-part deep dive into the Great Resignation we discussed the closure of borders and the impact it has had on the arrival of skilled migrants to our shores, highlighting that there is a shortage of about a million workers in Australia, with half of those skilled migrants.

Part 2 in our series highlighted that University students are unlikely to bridge the gap, with the data showing more university students are dropping out of courses than ever before.

But how does this all relate to The Great Resignation? These aren’t people who are resigning in great numbers; university dropouts aren’t in the working world for a start, and those that can’t migrate here can’t resign from a job they don’t have.

So, what’s causing us to fear The Great Resignation?

The article which first hypothesised the Great Resignation in the US was the result of a lag in demand for certain professions. Once these professions exploded in popularity, however, the labour shortage presented itself – as did the opportunity for employees to become choosier with their job options.

If we apply this hypothesis to Australia and examine our vacancy rates, the number of those seeking employment and our underlying employment rate, we see a similar trend.

Twice during lockdown periods in Australia we’ve seen unemployment and job vacancy rates oscillate wildly. In early 2020, unemployment levels in Australia soared to 7.4 percent, while job vacancies plummeted to 129,000. By mid-2021, the situation had reversed, with nearly 334,000 job vacancies and a 4.5 per cent unemployment rate. 

Along with skills scarcity and a drop in capable graduates coming through the university ranks, this has driven a major gap in our local talent pool.

It appears the Great Resignation is also the Great Migration. People are now seeking employment on their own terms – with a work life balance and improved salaries through promotions at the forefront of employees’ minds.


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