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Almost One-Third of Younger Workers Have Contemplated a Career Change During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Washington Post and Schar School poll finds that nearly one-third of workers under the age of 40 have considered changing their occupation after the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Many young workers are seeing the time of upheaval as an opportunity to reassess their professional life
  • Americans are quitting their jobs at an accelerated rate, especially in high stress, low-wage fields like retail and food service

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Nearly one-third of workers under the age of 40 has considered changing their occupation or field of work, according to a recent poll from the Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Governance at George Mason University.

The survey of 1,000 people, taken between July 6 and 21, found that respondents generally viewed the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to reassess their professional life and make substantial changes. Twenty-eight percent said they have seriously considered moving to a new community, while about one in five said they had contemplated shifting their professional career.

The findings are in line with a recent trend where more Americans are quitting their jobs, especially in high-stress, low-wage fields like food service and retail. These workers are often in search of more advantageous working conditions and benefits, including greater flexibility and higher pay.

The Washington Post and Schar School poll also found that nearly six in 10 respondents wanted to return to a physical workplace completely or most of the time. Just 8 percent said they would prefer a fully remote work schedule.

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