- The U.S. job market may be cooling down, but Aon survey data shows that the Great Resignation had a real impact on employers throughout the past year, the global professional services firm said in a June 2 statement.
- Using data collected from a study of nearly 2,000 employers, Aon found that voluntary employee departures rose 41% in 2021 compared to the prior year. In all, about 22% of employees left their jobs in 2021, 17% of them voluntarily. Aon said the industries with the lowest voluntary departures included energy, construction and financial services.
- Most employers in the survey said they planned to continue hiring, with 40% stating that they would hire “aggressively” in 2022. Pay proved to be a focus as well, with average budgeted salary increases reaching 5.2% in 2022, up from 4.5% in 2021.
After roughly a year in which attrition was perhaps the most discussed issue facing HR teams, there are signs that the U.S. job market could be on the mend. May jobs numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed an improvement in the labor force participation rate and employment-to-population ratio, while experts also pointed to declining layoffs.
Quits reached record highs in March, when nearly 4.5 million employees left their jobs voluntarily, according to BLS. But the impact of voluntary turnover may have been uneven. WorldatWork survey data published last month showed that 21% of organizations experienced voluntary turnover within the previous 12 months.
Observers have pointed to a variety of potential causes for the trend. One analysis by consulting firm Gartner posited that demand for hybrid work arrangements may have exposed misalignment between employees and leaders. An April report by people analytics firm Perceptyx found that a lack of response to employee feedback may explain some retention issues.
HR departments have seen no shortage of recommendations from their industry peers on how to address retention issues. In a January op-ed to HR Dive, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, wrote that monitoring employee expectations around topics such as career development and job security were “critical.” Empathy and flexibility are also important considerations, Taylor said.