10 Reasons Why More Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs

quit jobAccording to the Department of Labor's recent Job Opening and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLT), the number of voluntary job departures has risen since August 2009 and the number of people quitting now outnumbers those being laid off.

The most significant quit levels can be seen in financial services and professional and business services, but people are quitting across a variety of industry sectors including manufacturing, retail, real estate, construction, and hospitality.

While the summary notes, "quits tend to rise when there is a perception that another job is available and tend to fall when there is a perception that jobs are scarce," it is doubtful that this applies to people quitting now, given current market conditions.

So why are people quitting in this economy? Here are a few possibilities:

1. They found a job that paid better.

They took their jobs in 2008 when the market soured and they compromised to earn a paycheck. They continued searching for other positions and now their hard work has paid off and they have found another position with better pay.

2. They were tired of being worked to the bone.

Heavy layoffs occurred and they were forced to do more with less. Working in an environment that lacks the appropriate resources to get the job done is bound to take its toll. Many employers have not adequately engaged their employees or rewarded them with non-monetary incentives during the lean years -- and as a result, some are now losing their star players.

3. Their network was working.

They kept in touch with recruiters, built a strong network, or regularly checked leads on job boards. And found offers they couldn't refuse. Or, there was a ripple effect: When other employees left their jobs for any of the voluntary reasons on this list, it opened up an opportunity for someone else to come in and take their place.

4. The stress of their boss outweighed the stress of no paycheck.

The stress of managing the relationship outweighed the stress of a job search, and they felt it was better to quit than potentially be fired and risk a bad reference due to a deteriorating relationship.

5. Their health was in jeopardy.

They developed health issues that were exacerbated by the job, and they determined that the only way to redeem their health was to resign from the position and take care of their physical issues.

6. They were not engaged in their work.

They came to the realization that they weren't learning anything new on the job and their chances for upward mobility were limited. Rather than waste away slowly, they made the decision to act on their concerns and re-channel their energy into finding a new, more rewarding position.

7. The company was tanking.

They saw the writing on the wall that even though they had a job today, they may not have one tomorrow. Getting out while they could still collect on whatever benefits and perks they were entitled to seemed like a better plan than waiting until the company had nothing to give them.

8. The company bought them out.

The employer knew they may be facing a downsizing in the near future, so they offered employees an enticing compensation package to voluntarily resign. Voluntary packages generally come with some sort of financial guarantee, which tend to diminish with each new round of offers. Employees who choose to wait out the employer's rough patch can end up with nothing. Many would rather take the money and run than wait and see where the chips will land.

9. Things got personal.

They left to start a family, take care of aging parents, travel around the world, relocate, or make a career change. Responsibilities to others or listening to an inner calling often fuel resignations.

10. They became their own boss.

They were motivated to start their own business due to dissatisfaction in their jobs or because they were ready to turn a personal passion into a new career and business.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

There are alot of good comments out there. I would like to say something. I worked for a family owned company for almost 8 years. Twice I broken employment with them, but was always called back. I worked hard for this family, but at the end realized that they were out for themselves. Things that caught my eye were how they pretend to be your friends than just a employee. You would think after eight years or more. You would have developed something special. I realized at the end they were out to just get free lunches or dinners from me. They took advantage of my kindness. The really big things folks to look out for? If you ever are confronted to sign a "Key Employee Insurance". Please make sure you dont sign. I signed such document, but found out later that it was a policy for 250,000 to go to the company in case I die. I signed and was told that my mother would be covered as a beneficiary. I looked at my copy later down the line and my mother was not mentioned at all. I was able to transfer that legal form into my name and replace the company with my mother as benefiary. The company was out to gain on my good deeds, dedication and even monatary gain when I was to pass away. I say now, please be careful not to be used. It may affect your thinking on your next employment pertaining to trust.

December 21 2010 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I find the tone of this article infuriating. That there is the possibility that people left a job to "travel the world", or that the primary reason was a better job! People are holding onto their jobs with a death grip unlike ever before... losing their homes. There is a rose colored look at the world by this author regarding one of the worst economies we have seen since the Depression. Whoever wrote this article is a total moron! Their is a total lack of true awareness by this writer of the experiences of people who are suffering. This person is obviously oblivious and happily out of touch with his audience. jackass

December 17 2010 at 11:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry to hear that, bro. Those **cks will get theirs. No shoddy company can last for long under such half-stepping. You're right. In your case, would have let them fire me instead of quitting. I got lucky--I had resigned from my position, but I still got unemployment benefits because I argued my case with EDD and proved IN WRITING that I had performed a great job for the firm, and that my only choices were to resign, keep my professional reputation, but forfeit benefits OR let them "not re-elect," get the benefits but flush my rep toilet. In education, you can NOT have a "not re-elected." It makes it almost impossible to get another job in education. I argued this with EDD and they accepted it. It was a hard sell, but I triumphed. My only solace is that I got to have my cake and eat it for once in my professional life. Still, I miss my position dearly and I would love to be back at it. My advice to all is to KEEP ALL OF YOUR EVALUATIONS, especially since they have employer signatures and that alone can cover your *ss where EDD is concerned. God bless you all and good luck in your job searches.

December 17 2010 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've been threw alot of what you guys have experienced, and for years I thought that i was the only one that noticed this going on. My last job was a parttime position At Coca Cola in witch I was promised a full time position. I quit last December, when I realized my supervisor was the one holding me back because I was unknowingly doing his job. I was hired to be a orderbuilder on the records, be I later realized that I was only hired to sort through hundreds of thousands of damaged and expired products. I have seen the dirtiest products just wiped down and repacked at Coca Cola Enterprise. Gross!!

Keep in mind I driver one hour just to get to this part time job, thats only one way. The week of thankgivng 2009, I was asked to work as a orderbuilder, "the job that I was hired to do." I was told that they were going to hire someone to deal with the damaged and expired products. I was very happy to hear this good news, So I worked 70 hours as a parttime employee
that week. Keep in mind that this is the type of job where no one leaves until the last truck is loaded. The following week when the seasonal rush was over. I was told that I had far too many hours and that i should take a week off so I did that and when i came back to work, it was as a part timer. My problem with the part time position wasn't the work, it was a very easy job. My problem was that i barely made enough to get to work,and I don't get any benefits so I felt like I was only there to benefit this company that don't even care that i have to driver an hour to get there, So I quit and never looked back

December 17 2010 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have worked since the age of 15 and in 37 years I've never spent more than three years at any one job due to ALL 10 reasons listed, although, not meaning all at the same time. During that time I worked for several notable corporations and what I discovered was that profit was the bottom line in every case. Today it's even worse due to government deregulation and outsourcing. Corps do not care one iota about the human condition. We are expected to behave like cyborgs, robots if you will, with no emotion especially anything regarding ethics or morality. Since the corps have none they also expect their employees to follow their lead.

Well, this American refused a long time ago. My family and health are far more important.

In the last 10 years I've been laid off from three jobs due to downsizing and outsourcing and the last position I held for a national medical supplier just one day discharged me for failing to fax a document to a doctor's office late on a Friday afternoon after working over 50 hours that week. Yes, I was in error but due to the circumstances things like that happen.

Basically, I was doing the equivalent of two full-time jobs with no assistance. That tidbit of information wasn't disclosed in training. The day we went to our departments only then were we informed. I felt like we had been set up to fail, or, for admin to see if we could cut it. When I was let go, I had not once been forewarned, written up, or given any notice that my performance was less than satisfactory, actually, I had been given a small promotion the week before.

Now my unemployment is about to end and I'm thinking about starting another business doing was I do best and that is really helping people, since I've not been able to find another job. In the meantime I do volunteer work.

The only way to get ahead now in this new America and keep your self-respect is to work for yourself.

December 17 2010 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some one i was married to once would never understand why i had so many jobs in my working years (i'm disabled now and no longer work)or why it was so easy for me to tell my boss to flip-off, maybe this will help her, but i hope she really get's it now this late in life, i always looked at it as if i was doing them a favor by working for them and not that i owed then my life because they let me work for them, i think it's because i was a true hippie and work for me even then was not some drag, it was not some thing that i let get drilled into my brain, which is really hard for some people, i always called it FEAR OF THE BOSS, little kids being told day after day what they had to do to make it in the real world , but they never knew what the real world was really all about,they really feared there boss and treated him as a GOD, get off it right there, the boss was just like any one else (some times a little dumber) but thats just the way i looked at it. any way i could walk off a job and in a couple days to a week max, i was working some were again. and reason for leaveing my last job, I always told them my boss was a asshole and did not know what they were doing, most time a boss was just some one who worked there all there life and never complained or did any thing to help the workers they worked with, or was just brought in off the street and knew nothing about what we did, and was told that they would pick it up as they went along, which is why i never gave a answer to any questions asked of me, i told them there were the boss and should know what they were doing. So in that i never became a good guy or kiss-ass worker, i went to work to earn my money NOT to train some kid who i was told was my new boss "yea right". hell i always told my boss's " fire me, i was looking for work when i got hired here" Now don't get me wrong when i worked i really worked hard and knew what i was doing, and at the same time had or made work a better place for myself.. there was once a guy who always stood at the stair well with a broom in his hand, and all the boss's who saw him thought he was on top of thing's and cleaning up, but all he was doing was just standing there all day, doing nothing not cleaning a thing or even moving. i did what i had to do and and worked my time, after that it was my time, If you can't get why i did or how i could do what i did then you were the little kid standing there, being told how life was. and i feel nothing for you. How many people are going back to school now or are learning new job skills late in life, and may think why didn't i do this a long time ago, i may have passed you in one of my many job's, and never let it get on my last nerve, or get freaked out about a dead line. Like i said you eather have it or you don't in your head that you control your life, and i mean your "real" life, also don't get me wrong again there is nothing wrong with spending year's learning how to do a job you love doing, and is some thing you really want for your self......later

December 17 2010 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DR Barber

I am noticing that most people are complaining about managers, supervisors and above. To enlight some of you I am neither, I am bottom feeder as some of you indicate you are. Managers are more scared of thier job security, it requires no skill level other then demanding people to work, and they are told thats thier only job, and the trick is to get fellow workers (bottom feeders) to relay information about potential trouble makers to them, hey, also a very easy job, most workers would line up at the bosses door to tell on each other. So lay all your troubles on yourselves and your co-workers.

December 17 2010 at 6:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For all of you that have suffered with impossible employers, who think they can threaten your life whenevener they want to...They have no idea that YOU have the capacity to compete with them in their perspective fields of service! Poor service to employees can equal competition! Don't hate'em beat'em;
After all you have spent years honing your skills slaving away for them. Long gone are the days where you work for a good company and retire with the the promise of financial rewards. Start yor own businesss! You have the ability to get the same government grants they did to get started. TO HELL WITH POOR EMPLOYEES!

December 17 2010 at 6:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My past employers told everyone what a great job I was doing. That they couldn't do anything with out me for a year and a half. Then when I formally asked for a raise (I was only looking for a token raise, 50 cents at most!) they freaked out on me, treated me like crap and told me they didn't "do" raises. They then met me with hostility and avoided me when ever possible. They ultimately met with me and asked why I was so unhappy. I told them that they told me I had a dead end job and the additude I was getting was uncalled for. I was asked why I didn't quit. I was told prior that they don't "do" unemployment since it raised they're rates. They choke people out with lower and lower hours until they quit. I told them I could do unhappy a very long time. Then next day at work I was accused of causing problems with other coworkers. I quit on the spot. I saw the hand writing on the wall! This is the reason I quit. I was forced out. Oh by the way, they didn't pay my vacation pay when I left and forced me to pay a deposite for some equipment before I could get my last paycheck! Don't EVER work for Howard and Melanie Goff!

December 17 2010 at 4:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

who is John Galt?

December 17 2010 at 2:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web