Frustrated sad woman feeling tired worried about problem sitting on sofa with laptop, stressed depressed girl troubled

Since the beginning of the pandemic, one in five health care workers has left their job. They’ve been joined in leaving by a historic number of low-wage workers in other industries. Anthony Klotz, a professor at Texas A&M University, predicted this wave of quits, calling it the Great Resignation. When a title is written before the story, it’s always going to drive the narrative. Most analyses of the Great Resignation begin with the premise that it is a trend about worker choice. There’s not a lot of agreement about what their choices mean. Some say the Great Resignation proves the market works for workers, as they are choosing to leave poorly paying jobs for better-paying jobs. An argument that is strictly true but often neglects to mention that those better-paying jobs still pay well below a living wage. Others argue the high number of quits simply proves a high level of laziness. In a recent TINYpulse survey, one in five executives agreed with the statement, “No one wants to work.” A statement belied by the fact that most workers are not dropping out of the labor force.

The people who left the workforce often cite unpaid care work as the reason for quitting paid work. Others blame care scarcity in America. A childcare worker labor shortage means fewer parents, especially mothers, at work. It’s difficult to chalk the care worker shortage up to workers having more choices. Most childcare workers are not paid enough to pay for their own children’s childcare. What choice is there in poverty?

None of those narratives tell Lagemann’s story. She didn’t have a higher-paying job lined up when she fled the nursing facility. She’d been so determined to keep working she took a second job at a distant nursing facility. And her story isn’t really about care scarcity. Care is the one thing that’s abundant in Lagemann’s story. Her mother and aunt cared. Her grandmother cared. Lagemann certainly cared. And the man who shouted after her as she left the nursing home cared. Care isn’t scarce in her story; it is under pressure from capitalism’s exploitation.

Read more in Harper’s Bazaar.

Written by External Article
Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection. Have a great story about caregiving? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

My Autistic Brother And I

My Autistic Brother And I

Being away from Casey after growing up with him for almost 20 years is difficult. I worry about him, and sometimes, the worry clouds the way I see...

The Caregivers

The Caregivers

A few years into the illness, Janie could sense it worsening. Buzz, who had never yelled at her, now did so at the drop of a hat. Once, when she was...

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.