Over a Third of Americans Consider Quitting their Jobs

It’s been called the “Great Resignation”.

Jonathan Caballero made a startling discovery last year. At 27, his hair was thinning. The software developer realized that life was passing by too quickly as he was hunkered down at home in Hyattsville, MD.

There was so much to do, so many places to see. Caballero envisioned a life in which he might end a workday with a swim instead of a long drive home. So, when his employer began calling people back to the office part time, he balked at the 45-minute commute. He started looking for a job with better remote work options and quickly landed multiple offers.

"I think the pandemic has changed my mindset in a way, like I really value my time now," Caballero says. (NPR)

His story is not unique.

The rate at which Americans quit their jobs hit a historic high this spring, and workers may not be done job-hopping this year.

More than a third of workers (37%) are either thinking of leaving their current jobs or are already preparing to make the move, according to a Yahoo Finance/Harris Poll survey of 1,639 U.S. adults conducted in June 2021.

Four in five of the potential quitters (83%) want to make the move in the next six months, while the same percentage said they’ve been considering the move for the past year.

Over a Third of Americans Consider Quitting their Jobs

“People are leaving for more attractive jobs because there are lots of attractive jobs on offer,” ZipRecruiter Economist Julia Pollak told Yahoo Money. “The share of signing bonuses has very radically exploded, the share of jobs offering a four-day workweek has also about doubled.”

Job quits show it's ‘an amazing time for many young people'.

The survey results come after the rate at which workers quit their jobs hit a record high of 2.8% in April and remained historically elevated in May at 2.5% — much higher than before the pandemic. The number of job openings reached a high three months in a row from March to May — meaning workers have more options if they decide to leave.

Younger workers are more likely to consider quitting than older ones, according to the data.

  • Nearly half of millennials (46%) and 36% of Gen Z are thinking of leaving their jobs.

  • Just 31% of Gen Xers and 21% of baby boomers are contemplating leaving.

Younger people do switch jobs more frequently typically,” Pollak said, “But now… is an amazing time for many young people in the job market because many employers suffering from worker shortages are reducing the requirements for candidates, and so young people are becoming eligible for jobs that they may not have been able to get before.”

That syncs with other data on what workers want. For instance, workers’ earnings expectations reached a historic high in March 2021 of $72,341, according to the latest data available by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

While quitting is on the rise, retaining workers may not be that hard if employers pay more:

  • A 10% increase in annual salary would convince 37% of workers to stay with their current employer, the survey found.

Employers can also retain workers by improving their benefits package:

  • According to 32% of workers — including such perks as health insurance, retirement savings plan, stock options or by providing more time off, which 23% of workers selected.

Source: Yahoo Finance