American workers are resigning less

Thu Jul 11 2024
Lucy Harlow (4114 articles)
American workers are resigning less

American workers have shown a decrease in resignations, at least for the time being. There has been a noticeable decrease in job turnover among Americans in recent years. Recent surveys indicate that there has been a decline in the number of American adults looking to change jobs, in contrast to the high levels of job switching during the pandemic. According to other data, job satisfaction appears to be increasing. In interviews, workers who used to frequently change jobs express contentment with the balance they have found in their current positions.

According to federal data, individuals considering a career change may encounter a challenging job market and a decrease in the financial benefits associated with switching jobs.” Applying for jobs at the moment can be quite frustrating,” remarks Heather Sundell, a director of social strategy and copywriting based in Los Angeles. The prevailing sentiment represents a shift from previous years, during which a robust job market fueled a surge in resignations among American workers, commonly referred to as the “great resignation.” The current mood is so distinct that it has been referred to as the “big stay” by certain labor economists.

Sundell, 39, spent over a year searching for new opportunities and only managed to secure one interview before finally securing her current position in October of last year. She appreciates her company and colleagues and has no desire to go through the discouraging online job-application process again, where algorithms and other software often decide which résumés get noticed. Sundell, a mother to two small children and a doctoral student studying organizational psychology, also mentions the challenge of finding a similar flexible and collegial work environment that she currently appreciates. “If you mention that you need to go pick up your kids and no one reacts, it implies that you are perceived as capable of making independent decisions,” she explains.

According to Robert Half, a workplace consulting and recruiting firm, a recent poll indicates that the percentage of U.S. adults planning to search for a new job in the second half of this year has decreased from last year. According to a survey of 1,000 workers, the majority expressed satisfaction with their jobs, with 77% indicating happiness and 85% reporting a positive work-life balance. “Individuals express high levels of contentment with their compensation and are extremely pleased with the flexibility they have, both of which are significant factors,” states Dawn Fay, the operational president of Robert Half.

According to a recent study conducted by MetLife, the satisfaction level of working adults has increased from 69% to 73% in the past year.

In April 2022, the percentage of U.S. workers who voluntarily left their jobs reached its highest point at 3%, as reported by the Labor Department. This significant figure has led numerous employers to take action by increasing salaries, providing additional time off, and implementing flexible schedules, all in an effort to retain valuable talent. Since then, the rate of quitting in the U.S. has fallen below pre-pandemic levels to 2.2%, where it has remained consistent throughout this year. The decrease in the quits rate coincides with a slowdown in white-collar job growth and declining wages for new employees.

According to the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s wage tracker, individuals who switched jobs two summers ago experienced a median pay increase of 8.5%, while those who remained in their current positions received a raise of 5.9%. In March, individuals who changed jobs saw a median increase in pay of 5.2%, while those who stayed in their current positions experienced a 4.5% increase. “It aligns with the current state of confidence in the labor market, which is not surprising given the slowdown in the hiring rate,” explains Brett Ryan, a senior economist specializing in the United States at Deutsche Bank Securities.

According to Svenja Gudell, the chief economist at Indeed, job postings on the hiring website have been consistently decreasing over the past year. This trend has made it more challenging for individuals to find new job opportunities and consider switching companies. According to Gudell, there is simply a decrease in available resources. Employers no longer need to exert as much effort to attract talent. With the recent slowdown in wage growth, the allure of changing jobs may have diminished. There seems to be a sense of contentment and stability in the current situation.

According to workers, they are choosing to remain in their current positions instead of going through the hassle of multiple interview rounds, only to be ignored by recruiters and HR managers. If individuals are able to interact with anyone, it is often a challenge due to the highly automated nature of the job application process. The change in attitude is even more noticeable among younger employees. According to research conducted by Robert Half, there has been a significant decrease in the percentage of Gen Zers planning to seek new employment in the second half of 2024. The figure has dropped from 74% last year to 44%. The percentage of millennials intending to seek new employment has decreased from 63% to 45%.

Colleen Holleran, a resident of Binghamton, N.Y., cites her salary, which was below $50,000, as the primary factor behind her decision to resign from her second job after college in April 2022. She secured a search engine optimization analyst position that came with a significant 66% increase in salary and the added perk of remote work. Approximately one year later, her company recognized her achievements and promoted her to the position of senior analyst, along with a substantial increase in salary. The 26-year-old is anticipating another substantial increase in salary this year as well. “In my opinion, that’s a stable, long-lasting, and equitable solution,” she states. “I currently have no intention of seeking new opportunities.” Holleran’s employer is small, which provides her with opportunities to take on additional tasks and develop her skills. Recruiters are still reaching out, but Holleran mentions that none of them are providing the same enticing combination of salary, flexibility, and learning and development that she is currently receiving at her current workplace.

What factors might persuade her to consider a different position? She states that she would only consider leaving if she received an offer that is significantly higher, around 50% or more, than her current salary.

Lucy Harlow

Lucy Harlow

Lucy Harlow is a senior Correspondent who has been reporting about Equities, Commodities, Currencies, Bonds etc across the globe for last 10 years. She reports from New York and tracks daily movement of various indices across the Globe