The Great Resignation: 911 dispatchers
Part I in an ongoing series on the Great Resignation and its impacts locally
The following is a series I’m calling The Great Resignation (not a phrase I coined): it’s how the crazy unemployment situation is impacting the greater Wausau area. I think it’s worthy of a series because it’s a major issue that is impacting every single area of the local economy and will affect policy decision in every aspect of government and private life going forward.
Things were going quite well with two recent hires in the Marathon County Sheriff’s 911 dispatch center. They were both highly qualified, went through the several month-long training program, and were performing their jobs exceedingly well, according to Chief Deputy Chad Billeb.
But, as the Sheriff’s office found out, that turned out to be a double-edged sword. That they were so talented made them valuable to not only the sheriff’s office, but to other organizations as well.
Both quit within a few weeks of finishing their training. Why? Trucking companies hired them away for their dispatch center.
Economics is all about incentives. And the incentives for them to leave are obvious: Better pay, better hours, fewer life and death decisions, no need to work on holidays.
The dispatchers aren’t the only ones. The sheriff’s office lost a corporal in the jail, because she was offered a better job in a private sector jail-adjacent job (Billeb didn’t say which one, but listed a few places such as ATTIC Correctional as an example).
Billeb couldn’t blame them. Economic incentives are supposed to work in that they reward those who take on higher stress, worse hours and more danger with better pay. In this case, there’s a reverse in incentives. Jobs with better pay, less stress and danger, and more holidays off are also paying better.
They have to. In today’s employment market, which many are now calling The Great Resignation (named thus because more than ever people are quitting without a job lined up, such is the confidence on the employee side), no one can afford to be cheap. (That said, it’s amazing to see some employers still don’t get it.)
That’s not even considering creative economy jobs. I know multiple people making part time and even full time incomes on YouTube. (One person living in a small nearby town has millions of followers.)
BTW, this could be technically be the second part of the series, if you consider the story I did not long ago on the number of people quitting city hall - this year is already an all-time high and that was in October.
But because of a number of factors, municipalities could have the hardest time. That’s due to a few reasons, and most of them are out of their control.
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