Skip to content
In the News

JFF’s Michael Collins in “The Great Resignation Narrative Ignores the Black Experience in America”

July 28, 2022

At a Glance

In an article for HR Dive, JFF Vice President Michael Collins calls on employers to reimagine recruitment and talent practices to better support Black workers.

Practices & Centers

In an article published in HR Dive, JFF Vice President Michael Collins discusses the implications of the “Great Resignation”—and a potential recession—for Black workers.

He notes that the popular narrative about the Great Resignation says that “millions of workers have taken advantage of unprecedented flexibility and career options and quit their jobs in droves” to pursue new opportunities as the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent. However, he goes on to say that this narrative “has largely ignored Black workers” and argues that “many Black workers have found their reasons for joining the Great Resignation to be far more urgent” and “are pursuing new roles less by choice than out of immediate necessity amid stagnant career prospects and economic uncertainty.”

Collins calls on employers to consider this disparity and “acknowledge their recruitment practices are still not reaching Black workers.” Regardless of historically low overall unemployment rates, Black workers are still concentrated in jobs associated with low wages. Moreover, the unemployment rate for Black Americans has been double that of white Americans for decades. And a recent University of Phoenix study found that, compared with members of other demographic groups, Black Americans are the most likely to live paycheck to paycheck and half of Black Americans feel that COVID-19 has derailed their careers.

Access to professional social capital, opportunities to build in-demand skills, and access to learning experiences are critical to ending occupational segregation and lowering the Black-white wealth gap. In the workplace, Collins states that employers must work to redesign their recruitment and human resources practices to better support Black employees as they advance in their careers, specifically by hiring from a more diverse pipeline of talent.

The Great Resignation largely benefited only those with the finances, skills, and time to pursue greener pastures. A critical pool of untapped talent is being left behind, to the immense detriment of our economy on the whole.

JFF Vice President Michael Collins in HRDive
Read the Full Article
In HRDive
Read More