The Top 4 Reasons Workers Are Joining the ‘Great Resignation’

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Happy woman quitting her job
Syda Productions /

Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Resignations hit an all-time high in November, at 4.5 million, according to the latest data from the U.S. Labor Department.

The wave of quitting — often dubbed the Great Resignation — has been going on for many months, and no one knows if and when it will end.

Why are Americans leaving their jobs in droves? Nobody knows for sure.

However, a recent survey of around 2,000 U.S. adults — the 2022 Wealth & Wellness Index from retirement services provider Empower and hybrid wealth manager Personal Capital — offers some clues.

The survey asked the following question: “For what reasons do you want to get a new job?” Respondents had the option of giving more than one answer.

Following are the top reasons workers said they’d like to join the Great Resignation, starting with the fourth most-cited answer and working up to No. 1.

4. Promotion

Woman with a new job
fizkes /

Respondents who cite this reason for quitting: 22%

People can work their whole lives with a company pursuing a coveted job title, only to end up falling short.

Perhaps realizing this, nearly one-quarter of those who want to quit their jobs plan to take matters into their own hands and pursue a higher rank with another company.

3. Be able to work remotely

Happy man working from home remote work
djile /

Respondents who cite this reason for quitting: 34%

Americans discovered something during the pandemic: They don’t like offices much.

A 2021 Gallup survey of 9,000 workers found that, among those working remotely at least some of the time, just 9% want to return to their offices full time. A little over one-third — 37% — prefer working exclusively from home, while 54% would prefer a home/office hybrid schedule.

Given those numbers, it makes sense that 34% of respondents in the Wealth & Wellness Index say they want to leave their job so they can work remotely.

If you’re looking for a work-from-home job, check out the listings from Money Talks News’ partner FlexJobs.

2. Follow my passion

teacher sitting on the floor with elementary school children
Monkey Business Images /

Respondents who cite this reason for quitting: 42%

Life is short, and working at a job you despise — or that simply doesn’t motivate you — can be excruciating for some.

The pandemic has been a reminder that tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us. Against that backdrop, a substantial 42% want to leave their jobs to follow something closer to their hearts.

1. Higher income or additional benefits

Woman holding money
Jason Stitt /

Respondents who cite this reason for quitting: 76%

Yes, some things have changed during the pandemic. But other things remain exactly the same.

It should come as no surprise that more than three-quarters of workers say they want to leave their current gig in order to pursue that old standby — a job with higher income or better benefits.

If you are someone who wants higher pay and to work remotely, check out “13 High-Paying Jobs You Can Do From Home.”

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