Alternative Data Trends – How Reddit Helped Fuel The Great Resignation

By: SESAMm | February 11, 2022

People are leaving traditional jobs in droves according to the latest figures from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed a record breaking 4.5 Million resignations as of Nov 2021.

The trend has originated a movement on Reddit similar to r/wallstreetbets called r/antiwork where more than 1.7 Million active members share resignation stories, discuss unfair work practices, criticize their bosses, and advocate for employee rights and better work conditions.

We applied SESAMm’s AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine TextReveal® to analyze r/antiwork subreddit thread posts, as well as other related content, from a context and sentiment analysis perspective.

The full report, entitled “The Big Quit”, is one of our series of Alternative Data Trends, which leverages web data and AI to provide regular analytics on key industries and subjects. They typically contain alternative data based insights and analyses, including numerous detailed charts and graphs as well as supporting data which can be reprocessed by client teams.

Download the Big Quit Report

Here are some of The Big Quit report’s highlights:

  • Mentions of the Anti-Work movement exploded by 215% in June 2021 coinciding with the start of the ‘Great Resignation’.
  • Leisure & Hospitality, Healthcare and Retail are the three most mentioned sectors.
  • McDonalds and Starbucks are the two companies with the highest number of mentions.
  • The three brands displaying the most negative sentiment are Wendy’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill and McDonald’s.
  • The three most talked about topics are compensation benefits, and workload.
  • The Debtstrike movement, seeking debt relief for the less fortunate in society as well as banning unfair debt practices, saw mentions shoot up 497% in September 2021.

Volume of Mentions of “Anti-work” as a predictive Indicator of The Big Quit

Absolute volumes over time

The graph above shows that prior to August 2021, anti-work mentions on Reddit have been fairly stable before this topic went viral with a 215% increase, this growth of mentions appears to be a leading indicator to the 4.5 million resignations in November 2021.

SESAMm’s TextReveal® platform can be used in a wide variety of use cases and projects. Request a copy of the full Alternative Data Trends report “The Big Quit” report here, or if you have any other questions regarding our data, or would like a demo, please contact