Bank of America’s CEO gets real about the labor shortage: ‘We don’t have enough people now’ and those who quit aren’t coming back

January 21, 2022, 11:00 PM UTC

Like many business leaders these days, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is feeling the impact of the Great Resignation at his company. That would be the record numbers of U.S. workers quitting their jobs—3% left their roles in September alone—creating headaches for businesses trying to keep positions filled. 

“A lot of people left the labor market and they’re not going to come back, even with a strong bid for their services,” Moynihan said on Thursday during a virtual event hosted by Fortune and the World Economic Forum. “And that’s just the reality we’re going to be facing. We’re going to be chasing that dynamic of not enough people working.”

The Great Resignation started in April of last year amid the COVID pandemic, as workers started going off in search of higher pay and better benefits, or left the workforce altogether. 

Moynihan said the difficulty in finding workers won’t be fixed anytime soon.

“The population growth rate has fallen in half during the last decade and we just don’t have enough people now,” Moynihan said. 

In an effort to make Bank of America more competitive as an employer, Moynihan said he raised wages. Total compensation expenses for the bank grew 10% last year to $36.1 billion. Starting wages at the bank now average $44,000 annually with full benefits, Moynihan pointed out. The bank’s attrition rate actually fell 50% earlier during the pandemic, he said, but it’s since rebounded to pre-COVID levels.

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