- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A new poll finds that 23% of U.S. workers plan on seeking a new job in 2022, and 9% have already secured one.

The poll, commissioned by the small business review website Digital.com and conducted online by ResumeBuilder.com in late December, found that another 9% of workers plan to retire, and the remaining 59% plan to stay with their current employers.

“Employees may wait for end-of-the-year bonuses to make a change or see what new opportunities arise in the new year,” said Carolyn Kleiman, a career strategist who conducted the poll. “Plus, as the pandemic continues, people continue to evaluate their lives, and work is a large part of that.”

The largest turnover will be among retail workers, with 31% of them planning to resign, and in the food and hospitality industry where 26% intend to find new employment.

Ms. Kleiman said these workforces have suffered the most instability during the coronavirus pandemic, with many employees not showing up for work.

“These areas have been hit the hardest with burnout and staff shortages during the pandemic,” she said. “This means extra work for those who show up, which leads to more burnout.”

One-third of job seekers said they plan to switch industries this year, according to the poll, with IT jobs and health care attracting the most interest.

Half of the employed adults seeking new jobs cited “better pay and benefits” as a reason for quitting, while 42% of respondents added that they want to find a job they’re “more passionate about” and 32% cited poor working conditions in their current jobs.

The pandemic continues to motivate many others: 29% cited wanting to continue working remotely as a reason for seeking a new job, 22% cited “COVID concerns,” and 17% said they’re switching positions “to avoid COVID vaccine mandates.”

The survey found that 52% of job-seekers anticipated quitting their current positions in the first half of 2022, while 26% planned to resign by March. Another 18% said they will quit as soon as they have “a new job lined up,” 19% anticipated resigning between July and September, and 11% plan to quit in the final months of the year.

Turnover will be highest among middle managers who feel “squeezed” from above and below, with 26% of them planning to switch jobs. By comparison, 23% of employees in non-management roles and 17% of upper managers plan to find new employment.

The poll, which sampled 1,250 U.S. wage earners on the survey platform Pollfish, was conducted Dec. 17-18 and released earlier this month.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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