2021 is the year when tens of millions of Americans turned in their resignations—about 34.5 million to date.
Once only the name of a prediction first uttered in May of 2021, “The Great Resignation” quickly became reality when the BLS reported that April set a record quit rate of 2.9%—the highest since 2000. What followed were back-to-back months of record-setting resignation rates that so far have peaked at 3% in September which translates to about 4.4 million Americans quitting.
The Great Resignation has made an undeniable impact on employers, employees, and the future of work.
But what we still don’t know for certain is when and how it will end.
When might we see the end of record resignations and the start of what experts are calling “The Great Rehire,” when a wave of American workers head back to the workforce?
We teamed up with The Harris Poll which conducted a new U.S. study on behalf of CareerArc to learn if Americans intend to quit their current jobs, the reasons why they quit or plan to resign, and when they plan to make their exit—and re-entry—back to the workforce.
Here are 23 must-know key findings of The Great Resignation + Rehire Survey.
A significant share of employed Americans plan to quit their jobs. 23% of the American workforce plans to resign in the next 12 months
The majority (70%) of those who plan to quit in the next 12 months plan to resign between
now and February 2022. Of those planning to resign in the next 12 months:
- 36% plan to quit before the end of 2021 (Nov-Dec 2021)
- 34% plan to quit job early next year (Jan-Feb 2022)
- 30% plan to quit later next year (March-Nov 2022)
Nearly six out of 10 (59%) employed Americans who plan to quit in the next 12 months will be job hunting between now and February 2022.
- 25% have already started looking for a new job
- 21% will start looking for a job before the end of the year 2021
- 13% will start looking early next year between Jan-Feb 2022
- 6% will start looking later next year between March-Nov 2022
- 1% will start looking more than 12 months from now (Dec 2022 on)
- 5% are not sure
- 11% have no plans of looking for a new job
Wanting better working conditions tops the list of reasons to do so among Americans who plan to quit their jobs in the next 12 months. Among the lowest reasons on the list? Employer-enforced COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Among Americans who plan to resign in the next 12 months reasons for quitting include:
- 32% want better working conditions
- 30% feel burnt out
- 29% want a job with higher pay
- 23% want to switch careers
- 23% want to start a business
- 22% need more time to care for my family
- 21% want more flexible/remote work options
- 20% say they are working remotely and their employer will be requiring them to return to the workplace
- 16% say their employer will be requiring them to get vaccinated against COVID-19
- 16% indicated some other reason for quitting
The younger in age, the higher the intent to leave a job. Younger employees (ages 18-34) are more than twice as likely as older employees (ages 35-64) to say they plan to resign from their jobs in the next 12 months (34% vs. 15%).
Survey methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerArc between Nov 16-18, 2021 among 2,016 US adults ages 18+, among whom 254 plan to resign within the next 12 months. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact BAM at email@example.com.
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