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Interactive Chart: How Historic Has the Great Resignation Been?

In December, another 4.4 million workers—about 3 percent of the workforce—quit their jobs. But how does that number stack up against all previous years that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported?

[This graphic has been updated.]

The Great Resignation continues along an historic path among all previously reported years of quits data reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting the number of U.S. workers who quit their jobs in December 2000, giving a trove of monthly data on the ebbs and flows of workers quitting.

Last year, 47.8 million workers quit their jobs, an average of nearly 4 million each month, meaning 2021 holds the highest average on record, topping the 2019 average of 3.5 million.

The year with the lowest monthly average is 2009, which saw around 1.75 million workers quit each month—less than half the 2021 average. 2010 and 2011 are the only other years with a monthly average below 2 million, highlighting the impact of the Great Recession on workers' decisions to leave their jobs.

Economists and employers alike are left wondering: Will workers continue to leave their jobs in record numbers?

For more information on the Great Resignation, see SHRM's Resource Hub page on Turnover and Retention.