At the end of 2021, the U.S. experienced what has since been dubbed the "Great Resignation."

In November and December alone, a record 8.8 million Americans quit their jobs for various reasons including low pay, poor safety conditions, toxic work environments, and more.

Career-building resource CareerCloud recently published a study breaking down statistics nationwide that includes state-by-state quit-rates during the Great Resignation, as well as a nationwide breakdown of how states and businesses responded to COVID-19.

See the results in full here.

New Jersey saw the number 1 lowest increase in quit rates during the pandemic, standing ground at 18%. When it comes to how states dealt with COVID-19 employee policies, New Jersey ranked 11th overall.

Help wanted signs
Help wanted signs (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)
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These results are a lot more favorable than what many people who have come out against the Murphy administration's COVID-19 response would have expected. It's comforting to know that there are now stats to back up some of, but not all, the boasting you've heard out of Trenton.

We now live in an economic climate where many employees are no longer afraid to have their voices heard when it comes to their unhappiness.

As for how CareerCloud crunched the data, their website says the data "came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, including its 2021 Business Response Survey, the findings of which were released in February 2022. Those survey results were collected from private-sector establishments between July and September 2021. Quit and job opening rates were gathered from the BLS’s JOLTS database, which includes data on job openings and labor turnover statistics for the U.S. and the states going back to 2000."

We now live in an economic climate where many employees are no longer afraid to have their voices heard when it comes to their unhappiness. Many workers who felt undervalued or that their concerns weren't being met felt support by way of strength in numbers for the very first time.

One conclusion that I think can be drawn is COVID-19 and the way states and businesses responded to the threat of the virus in the workplace woke a lot of people up to what they truly find important. Whether it's higher wages, safety or self-worth, COVID-19 reminded the working New Jerseyan that it's not wise to settle for less than what you deserve.

It appears New Jersey did a better job at meeting employee needs during this trying time than many other parts of the U.S.

For that, I consider myself very lucky.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 producer, writer, and host Joe Votruba. Any opinions expressed are his own.

Questions, corrections, or comments? Send Joe Votruba an email. Follow Joe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

11 great eateries walking distance to Newark's Prudential Center

Whether it be for a sporting event, concert, or other popular event, there's a good chance you'll be making your way to the Newark arena dubbed 'The Rock' at some point in the near future. 

Aside from being the home of the NHL's NJ Devils, they also attract major music acts ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Fall Out Boy to Justin Bieber.

Sure, there's nothing inherently wrong with spending $11 on chicken tenders or $13 on a cocktail, but if you give yourself some extra time or have time to spare after the event, there are plenty of great food and drink options that all require less than a 20 minute walk. 

Here are some standouts:

The 10 free bridges from New Jersey to Pennsylvania (and vice versa!)

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission oversees many of these free crossings, and their method is one that is a foreign concept to those in charge in the Garden State. The group, which is a bi-state agency appointed by officials in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, uses revenue generated from larger, more heavily trafficked crossings to maintain the free ones.

Independently owned record stores in New Jersey

The methods in which we listen to music have taken many forms throughout the years, but vinyl is still a force to be reckoned with.