RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The phenomena of “The Great Resignation” is impacting industries across the country. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data found more than four million people quit their jobs in January alone.

The impact is being felt in Wake County where the county manager said the county is experiencing its highest resignation rates in at least 18 years.

“COVID just wore people out and so people were re-thinking what they wanted to do,” said Wake County Manager David Ellis.

Many people decided they wanted to do something outside of local government. Ellis said the turnover rate is at 18 percent, the highest in 18 years.

“When you start to lose employees and the work gets passed on to someone else, that then impacts that person and they start thinking the same,” said Ellis. The county manager said the revolving door is costing the county money and resources everything they have to hire the next person.

In response, the county is offering monetary and non-monetary incentives for county employees.

$20 million from American Rescue Plan funding is being used to give employees retention bonuses to stay through the end of the year. The letter sent to employees and obtained by CBS 17 included the following in incentives for employees hired by Feb. 1 of this year.

  • If you make less than $60,000 a year, you’ll receive $4,000 ($1,500 in March, $1,500 in August, and $1,000 in December).
  • If you make between $60,000 and $99,999 a year, you’ll receive $3,750 ($1,500 in March, $1,250 in August, and $1,000 in December).
  • If you make $100,000 or more, you will receive $3,000 ($1,500 in March, $500 in August, and
    $1,000 in December).

Anyone who was hired after Feb. 1 and is not already receiving a multi-year sign-on bonus will receive a retention incentive of $1,000 in December.

These are one-time funds from the American Rescue Plan and are split into three payments. Ellis admits there is a potential for some people to take the money and run come January.

It’s why the county is working on fixing systemic issues with retention.

“We want to make sure that folks are being paid fairly and at market rate so this is one piece of multiple pieces,” he said.

On top of these dollars, employees will also get 40 hours of incentive leave to re-charge in august.

“I really believe if people feel valued and they believe the work they are doing is valued, they will stay here,” Ellis.

Wake County currently has more than 60 jobs postings on its website. They don’t all require a college degree or special certificates, such as swimming pool technicians and landscape maintenance technicians.

See the full online listing of job opportunities with Wake County.

Editor’s Note: This does not include City of Raleigh employees, it is only for employees of the county. Both entities have their own staff and their own human resources department.  If city employees were to be in talks for any type of bonus, it would only come from the City of Raleigh commissioners and the city manager.