1 in 4 workers plan on quitting in 2022, as Great Resignation continues

Updated January 3, 2022

The Great Resignation will continue in 2022, according to a new survey by ResumeBuilder.com.

In late December, ResumeBuilder.com polled 1,250 currently employed American adults about their employment plans for 2022. Roughly one quarter of respondents declared their intentions of finding a new job in the new year, setting the stage for yet another year of turmoil in the labor market.

Key Findings

  • 23% of currently employed individuals plan on finding a new job in 2022; 9% of workers have already secured a new job for the new year
  • Turnover will be highest among workers in retail, food & hospitality, education, and office & administrative support
  • 1 in 2 workers are seeking better pay and benefits
  • 52% of job-seekers anticipate quitting in the first half of 2022; 26% plan to quit by March

23% of workers will quit in 2022

Twenty-three percent of workers plan to seek a new job with a different employer this year. Nine percent of respondents already have new jobs that they are starting in 2022, while another 9% plan on retiring this year.

1 in 4 remote workers looking for a new job in 2022

Individuals who work from home are most likely to look for a new job, with 24% of remote employees indicating they’ll seek a different employment situation.

By comparison, 23% of fully in-person workers, and 21% of those with hybrid work arrangements will look for new employment in 2022.

These upcoming changes are the result of a confluence of factors, according to career strategist and professional resume writer Carolyn Kleiman.

“Workers often make shifts in employment after the new year,” Kleiman says. “Employees may wait for end-of-the-year bonuses to make a change or see what new opportunities arise in the new year. Plus, as the pandemic continues, people continue to evaluate their lives, and work is a large part of that.”

1 in 2 resignations will happen in the first half of 2022

Sixty-one percent of workers who are planning employment changes are already applying to new jobs, while 39% say they’re waiting until after the new year to kick off their job searches.

Twenty-six percent of those who plan on quitting anticipate doing so between January and March 2022, with another 26% aiming to leave their current job between April and June 2022.
Another 18% say they will quit as soon as they have a new job lined up.

Of the remaining workers, 19% anticipate resigning from their current job between July and September 2022, and 11% will quit in the final months of the year.

Resignations highest among employees in retail, food & hospitality industries

Staff turnover in 2022 will continue to hit the retail and food and hospitality industries the hardest in 2022.

Thirty-one percent of retail workers and 26% of food and hospitality workers intend to find new employment.

The high rate of anticipated resignations in these industries is unsurprising to Kleiman.

“These areas have been hit the hardest with burnout and staff shortages during the pandemic,” she says. “This means extra work for those who show up, which leads to more burnout.”

Other industries that will see about a quarter of their workforce seek new jobs include education (23%), office and administrative support (23%), and business and finance (22%).

Regardless of industry, turnover will be highest among middle management, with 26% of workers in these positions planning on switching jobs.

Comparatively, 23% of employees in non-management roles, and 17% of workers in upper management will be seeking new employment opportunities this year.

“Middle managers are often squeezed from above and below, in terms of reporting, delivering, and supervising,” Kleiman says, explaining why turnover is highest among this group. “There have been numerous studies showing that middle management is an exhausting role. These individuals may quit because they feel like they have put in their time and are ready for the next level, or they want to move into a role that focuses on other areas of expertise.”

1 in 3 workers seeking to change industries

Besides switching employers, some workers are seizing this moment to pursue whole new careers.

Thirty-two percent of employees who are looking for new jobs are seeking employment in a different industry. Another 31% are undecided about the specific industry they are seeking employment in, while 37% plan to hunt for jobs in their current industry.

The top industries that are attracting new talent include computer and information technology (11%), healthcare (11%), media and communications (9%), retail (9%), community and social services (8%), and business and finance (8%).
Kleiman has some advice for employees who are looking to make an industry change during their job search.

“If you’re looking for a similar job in a new industry, focus your resume on skills that overlap,” she says. “For example, if you’re going from hospitality management to a management role in media, focus on scheduling, coordinating, working under tight deadlines, supervising, and other common job functions. Make sure your resume not only showcases skills but accomplishments, as employers like to see quantifiable data, like time saved or sales closed.”

Half of job-seekers want better pay and benefits

The top reason why individuals are seeking new employment is to secure better pay and benefits, with 50% of respondents selecting this answer.

Forty-two percent of job-seekers want a position they are more passionate about, while 32% cite poor working conditions at their current job as a reason why they are exploring new employment opportunities.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is also pushing some workers to look for new employment. Twenty-two percent say COVID concerns are a reason why they want to find a new job, while 17% plan to resign so they can avoid employer-imposed vaccine mandates.

Ability to continue working remotely remains popular among workers

As employees continue to debate the merits of working remotely versus working in person, the ability to work from home (or anywhere with WiFi) appears to be winning out.

Twenty-nine percent of workers are looking for a new job because they want to continue working remotely, compared to 16% who are job-hunting because they want to return to in-person work.

“Remote work is here to stay, especially as technology improves and workers become better at using it,” Kleiman says. “If employees are continuing to leave their current employers for positions that allow them to work remotely, it’ll be imperative for employers to figure out how to offer employees remote work to retain and recruit talent.”

Methodology

All data found within this report derives from a survey commissioned by Digital.com and conducted online by survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,250 American adults were surveyed. To qualify for the survey, each respondent had to currently be employed for wages. Appropriate respondents were found using Pollfish’s screening tools. This survey was conducted over a two-day span, starting on December 17, 2021 and ending on December 18, 2021. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities. For full survey data, please email Content Marketing Specialist Kristen Scatton at [email protected].