Nearly Half of U.S. Workers Plan to Quit Their Job Early 2023, Says Report

Many workers will be eyeing greener pastures in the new year despite economic uncertainty, research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. According to the company’s biannual Job Optimism Survey of more than 2,500 professionals in the U.S., 46% of respondents are currently looking or plan to look for a new role in the first half of 2023, up from 41% six months ago.

Those most likely to make a career move in early 2023 are:

  • 18- to 25-year-olds (60%)
  • Human resources professionals (58%)
  • Employees who have been with their company for 2-4 years (55%)
  • Working parents (53%)

“Noise around hiring freezes and layoffs at some companies hasn’t seemed to faze workers — many are just as confident in their job prospects as they were six months ago,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “The labor market remains tight, and professionals are curious about exploring new and more fulfilling career paths.”

The Call of Contracting and ‘Employers Past’
Increased demand for contract talent may be why nearly 3 in 10 professionals (29%) are considering quitting their job to pursue a full-time contracting career. Boomeranging back to a previous employer is also a consideration for 4 in 10 professionals, who said they would return to a former company if given a salary equal to or higher than their current pay.

Job Search Motivators
For the fourth Job Optimism Survey in a row, money ranked as the top motivator for making a career move. Workers said the main reasons they plan to look for a new job in the first half of 2023 are:

  1. A higher salary (61%)
  2. Better benefits and perks (37%)
  3. Greater flexibility to choose when and where they work (36%)

Employers looking to land top talent in 2023 should refine and streamline hiring processes and showcase their company culture. When applying for positions, top turn-offs that cause candidates to lose interest are:

  1. Unclear or unreasonable job responsibilities (56%)
  2. Poor communication with the hiring manager (50%)
  3. Misalignment with the company culture and values (36%)

McDonald added, “The employment landscape is changing day to day, and it will be interesting to see how the next few months pan out. Regardless of what happens, employers can’t take their foot off the pedal when it comes to earning trust and driving engagement with current staff and creating a positive experience for potential hires.”

About the Research
Robert Half’s Job Optimism Survey tracks worker sentiment on current and future career prospects and reveals key implications for employers. It’s an independent online survey of more than 2,500 workers 18 years of age or older in finance, technology, marketing and creative, legal, administrative and customer support, human resources, and other areas at companies with 20 or more employees in the U.S. (conducted Oct. 17 to Nov. 7, 2022).

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