Americans have been quitting their jobs at record rates. In fact, the biggest share of workers since 2001 quit their jobs in July, reports Bloomberg. And the number of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs rose to 3.58 million, up from 3.48 million.
Data seems to suggest that people are leaving jobs for better-paying positions. But GOBankingRates wanted to find out what really is motivating people to quit. Using a Survata survey, GOBankingRates asked more than 500 adults these five questions:
- To your best estimate, what’s the average amount of time you stay at a company?
- How long have you been at your current job?
- How satisfied are you with your job?
- How many jobs have you had?
- What is your biggest reason/incentive for changing your job(s)?
Click through to find out whether Americans are satisfied with their jobs and what prompts people to leave a job for a new position.
Majority of Americans Are Satisfied With Their Jobs
Although a record number of Americans have been quitting their jobs, the majority of workers are happy with their current positions. The survey found that nearly half of Americans — 47 percent — are very satisfied with their jobs. Another 25 percent said they are satisfied.
According to the survey, 19 percent of respondents consider their jobs to be manageable. And only 9 percent are not satisfied or not satisfied at all with their current positions. Overall, the survey results suggest that there isn’t widespread job dissatisfaction among workers.
Men More Likely to Be Very Satisfied With Their Jobs
The majority of both men and women surveyed said they were satisfied with their jobs. However, men were more likely to be very satisfied — with 52 percent choosing this response compared with 42 percent of women.
Women, on the other hand, were more likely than men to feel lukewarm about their jobs. On a scale of one to five, 21 percent of women rated their job satisfaction a 3 (manageable) compared with 17 percent of men. And 9 percent of women versus 8 percent of men weren’t satisfied or not satisfied at all with their current positions.
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Young Millennials Least Likely to Be Very Satisfied With Their Jobs
The survey found that young millennials ages 18 to 24 were less likely to be very satisfied with their jobs than other generations. About 39 percent of young millennials rated their job satisfaction a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5, indicating they were very satisfied with their jobs, while 31 percent said their jobs were just manageable. However, half of older millennials ages 25 to 34 said they were very satisfied with their current positions.
Baby boomers ages 55 to 64, on the other hand, were more likely than younger adults to be very satisfied with their jobs — with 60 percent of respondents in this age group rating their job satisfaction a 5 out of 5. But adults 65 and older had the highest percentage of survey respondents who said they weren’t satisfied at all with their jobs — 8 percent.
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Job Hopping Among Americans Not Common
Despite the recent increase in Americans leaving their jobs, the survey found that a majority of workers tend to stay in their positions for several years. When asked the average amount of time they stayed at a company, the most popular response among survey respondents was more than seven years — with 46 percent choosing this answer.
The second-most popular response was two to three years (18 percent), followed by four to five years (12 percent). Only 5 percent of respondents said the average amount of time they spent at a company was less than six months.
Men More Likely to Stay at Jobs Longer
The survey found that a much higher percentage of men than women — 54 percent versus 40 percent — stay at a company more than seven years. Overall, women were more likely than men to say that their average stay at a company was shorter.
About 21 percent of women versus 18 percent of men said the average amount of time they stayed at a job was two to three years. Women also were more likely than men to say that they spent less than six months or six months to a year, on average, at a company.
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Time at Current Job Increases With Age
The survey found that the average amount of time workers stay at a job increases with age. Only 2 percent of young millennials ages 18 to 24 have been at their current job for more than seven years. That percentage increases to 23 percent for adults 25 to 34, 32 percent for adults 35 to 44, 42 percent for adults 45 to 54, 60 percent for adults 55 to 64, and 67 percent for adults 65 and older.
Not surprisingly, young millennials are the most likely of any age group to have been at their current job for less than six months, six months to one year or two to three years. However, older millennials (ages 25 to 34) claim that the average amount of time they stay at a company is at least four years, with 26 percent claiming they spend an average of seven years or more at the same job.
These young adults likely have shorter tenures because many are just starting to enter the workforce.
Most Workers Have Only Held a Handful of Jobs
The recent increase in workers leaving their positions for new ones doesn’t mean job hopping in the U.S. is rampant. In fact, the survey found that the most common number of jobs respondents have had in their lifetime is three to four — with 27 percent choosing this response. The second-most common number of jobs respondents have had is five to six, followed by one to two. Only 6 percent of respondents said they’ve had more than 12 jobs.
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Women More Likely to Have Had 1 or 2 Jobs
When asked how many jobs they’ve had, the most common response for both men and women was three to four, followed by five to six. Women, however, were more likely than men to say that they’ve had only one to two jobs — 20 percent versus 12.
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to jump around from job to job, with 9 percent saying they’ve had more than 12 jobs compared with 5 percent of women.
Gen Xers More Likely to Job Hop
Older Generation Xers ages 45 to 54 are the most likely of any age group to have had 11 to 12 jobs. In comparison, young Gen Xers (and some older millennials) ages 35 to 44 are most likely to have had nine to 10 jobs, along with adults 65 and older. The 35 to 44 age group also had the highest percentage of respondents — 28 percent — who said they’ve had five to six jobs in their lifetime.
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Americans Changing Jobs for More Money
The survey found that when Americans do change jobs, the biggest reason they make a switch is to get better pay. Almost half of respondents said they change jobs to make more money.
The second-most common reason for leaving a job is little-to-no growth opportunity, with 18 percent choosing this response. The least common reason people change jobs: It’s a tie between lack of meaningful work and not liking the people or culture.
Men More Likely to Switch Jobs for Money
Money seems to be a bigger motivation for men than women when switching jobs. The survey found that 53 percent of men versus 44 percent of women said the biggest reason for changing jobs is to make more money.
However, women are more likely than men to leave their jobs because of little-to-no growth opportunity or because their current position doesn’t align with their career goals. It’s worth noting that a higher percentage of men than women responded that the biggest reason for changing their job was poor work-life balance.
Millennials Value Meaningful Work, Jobs That Align With Career Goals
The most popular reason for a job change among all age groups surveyed was making more money. However, other incentives for switching jobs varied greatly among the generations.
Young millennials ages 18 to 24 were the most likely of any age group to say that the biggest reason for changing jobs is because their current job doesn’t align with their career goals. And older millennials ages 25 to 34 were more likely than other age groups to say that lack of meaningful work would prompt them to switch jobs. Gen Xers, on the other hand, were the most likely to say that they’d change jobs if they had little to no growth opportunity in a current position.
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Methodology: GOBankingRates asked the following questions to 503 people: 1) To your best estimate, what’s the average amount of time you stay at a company? 2) How long have you been at your current job? 3) How satisfied are you with your job? 4) How many jobs have you had? and 5) What is your biggest reason/incentive for changing your job(s)? Responses were collected through a Survata online survey from July 30, 2018, to July 31, 2018.