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What is causing The Great Resignation?


17 March, 2022

Aiden Heke,


 Decision Inc. Australia

Anyone who has tried booking a dinner this summer has probably found the likelihood of a reservation coming to fruition a bit of a lottery; as more and more hospitality staff began feeling the effects of Omicron, the sector and its need for wait staff, bartenders and kitchen workers were among the first to feel the pinch, leading to a lot of cancelled reservations.

While that may be anecdotal, supply chain issues certainly aren’t, with the Transport Workers Union estimating anywhere from a third to half of transport workers were unable to work due to COVID infections as recently as early January.

Omicron has led to nation-wide staff shortages, and linking these shortages to this specific variant may lead us to believe this may be a short-term issue. But the data show that we should expect staff shortages for a long time yet.

You’ve probably heard about the Great Resignation by now – but is it real? What’s causing it if it is? And finally, is it here in Australia?

We crunched the numbers and wrote an article which ran in The Australian recently.

But we thought we’d dive a little deeper for you and introduce a three-part series on LinkedIn which discusses the three main causes behind the Great Resignation in Australia.

The first major driver has been travel, or more accurately a lack of it.

The past two years have seen our land girt by sea effectively become been a castle with a moat, keeping out as much of the virus as possible. But an unwitting side effect has been the locking out of skilled migrants from our shores.

The data shows that in 2019, Australia had 249,600 skilled migrants (those classified as professionals or managers) enter the country, contributing to a total of 515,800 migrants across all industries and roles.

Now, extrapolate that data across the next two years when hard borders prevented any real migration to our shores, skilled or otherwise, and a gap of more than one million workers in the Australian economy has emerged, and about 500,000 of them skilled migrants.

It would make sense, then, that University students with the necessary skills would be able to step I  and bridge the gap.

But have they?

You can read part 2 next week which dives into an alarming finding on university drop-out rates in Australia. 


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