The Atlantic Daily: The Summer of Quitting

Americans are leaving their jobs. That might be a good sign for the labor market.

Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.


Why take vacation when you can just quit? This summer Americans are handing in their two weeks’ notice en masse. While their bosses might be displeased, the trend could be a good sign for the future of the labor market—and the power of individual workers. Or it could be a fluke.

  • Maybe all this quitting isn’t a bad thing.  It could “signify … an optimism among workers about the future,” Derek Thompson writes. Or the workforce could be experiencing “an unpinched-hose effect” as the pressure of the pandemic releases.

  • And maybe a labor shortage isn’t so bad either. Workers should have the power to say “no” to corporations who drag their feet when it comes to raising wages, Annie Lowrey argues.

  • History can serve as a guide. As Olga Khazan reported back in April 2020, previous major plagues have proved a boon to workers, raising wages in the decades that follow.


One question, answered: What does the Delta coronavirus variant mean for travel and for Americans planning vacations abroad?

I asked our staff writer Katherine J. Wu to explain:

At this point, the CDC guidelines are not saying, “Please travel.” But—this is similar to a discussion we had a few weeks ago—it’s definitely safer to travel once you are fully vaccinated, including to other countries.

Each individual person planning a vacation or business trip or any other kind of travel should keep in mind conditions in the place that they’re leaving from and where they’re headed. Consider who at your destination might be vaccinated or unvaccinated. Consider the availability of vaccines, and consider the availability of health care. What are the risks you would be willing to take? What are the masking requirements in that country? What are the testing requirements in that country?

Even being fully vaccinated is not a guarantee of impermeable, permanent protection. Very, very rarely, breakthrough cases are going to occur. Even though your risk is lower, it’s never zero, especially if you go somewhere where the virus is running rampant.

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Physical is “a strikingly beautiful show about ugly things: self-hatred, mental illness, rampant capitalism, politics, the Summer of Love gone to seed,” our culture writer Sophie Gilbert argues. Stream it on Apple TV+.

Today’s break from the news:

Can The Mandalorian save Star Wars?


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox