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Why hasn’t Europe been affected by the massive resignation of workers like the US?

Since the pandemic, U.S began to register a massive and voluntary abandonment of Job positions. Experts envisioned a global “Great Renunciation,” but in reality it was not.

This rarely seen phenomenon in the American job market has made it difficult for employers to fill job openings.

Having to change remote work for the office, exhaustion after suffering caused by COVID-19 or job burnout from low wages in unskilled sectors are some of the reasons behind these resignations, according to statements by Anthony Klotz, professor Associate at the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, at BBC Mundo.

However, the panorama that he faces EE. UU. it is not affecting other large economies in the same way. In Europe the effect has been very contained.

A key piece of information has been the activity rate, an index that measures the level of employment in a country. This fell in the euro area from 73.4% to 71.6% in one year, that of confinements. Meanwhile, in U.S it fell three percentage points in just three months, going from 63.3% in February 2020 to 60.2% in April of that same year.

The question now is what has made the eurozone compared to the United States so that its workers have returned to their jobs after the pandemic.

Structural factors

According to experts, the flexibility and low rates of unemployment from EE. UU. They cause a worker to leave their job waiting for better opportunities and working conditions, because the US economy is typically characterized by a rapid recovery in employment in normal times.

However, the European labor market is generally more rigid and has a lower turnover.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, figures show that Europeans have decided to return to their jobs rather than take risks.

So while Europe uses flexibility measures within the company when things go wrong, such as reducing the hours of its workers or cutting bonuses or benefits beyond salary, the Anglo-Saxon countries base their flexibility on hiring and firing.

The role of the syndicates

For Luca Nunziata, an economist and professor at the University of Padua, in Italy, trade unions also play an important role in the Old Continent.

“European labor markets work differently from the US labor market. If we exclude the United Kingdom, they are characterized by an institutional environment that traditionally favors employment protection over flexibility ”, he explains.

“In addition, collective bargaining and unions can play a prominent role, especially in some countries,” he says, referring to the homogeneity of wages in the eurozone in the face of high wage inequality in the United States.

But the fact that in Europe there has not been a wave of resignations also has to do with employment benefits such as paid vacations, maternity leave waves child care aids, agree the economists consulted by BBC Mundo.

Different approaches

Christine Erhel, from the Center for Employment and Labor Studies in Paris, indicates that the focus on how the pandemic was tackled on both sides of the Atlantic also has a lot to do with the rapid recovery of the job market in Europe.

While U.S addressed lockdowns by increasing unemployment insurance, Europe paid companies not to lay off anyone, even when staff were home from work.

Social protection maintained the link between workers and their companies.

Also the greater public assistance in labor insertion.

With information from BBC Mundo.


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