Workers Are Quitting in Record Numbers

What can HR do about it?

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer June 21, 2021

​Record-breaking numbers of employees are quitting their jobs—just one of the thorny variables in a volatile labor market characterized by high unemployment, a record number of job openings and frustrating labor shortages in key sectors.

We've rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online and other media outlets on the news.

Jumping Ship

Nearly 4 million people quit their jobs in April, pushing the quits rate to 2.7 percent of those employed, a series high since the metric has been recorded in 2000. The rate was especially elevated in the leisure and hospitality industry, where competition for workers has been fierce.

(The New York Times)

Optimism for Workers, While Employers Struggle

While a high quits rate can hurt employers with turnover costs and business disruptions, labor economists typically agree that employee churn is a positive signal of a healthy labor market and workers feeling confident about seeking better opportunities.

(The Wall Street Journal)

Pent-Up Demand

Economists believe that one reason the quits rate is so high is simply the market correcting itself. It is believed that millions of workers who stayed in their jobs last year would have moved on absent the pandemic, and now they are ready to make that move.

(SHRM Online)

Weathering the Storm

HR professionals can take steps to reduce this year's predicted "turnover tsunami" and help retain their workforce.

(SHRM Online)

Strong Job-Hopping Trend

Even before the pandemic, the employee quits rate had risen each year since 2010.

(SHRM Online)

[Want to learn more about retention? Join us at the SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021, taking place Sept. 9-12 in Las Vegas and virtually.]



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