Why Are People Quitting Their Jobs?

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Business Insider has noticed a trend: people quitting jobs without having another lined up. A few weeks back, they decided to try to collect some data on this trend, asking readers who had quit a job "in the past couple of years" to fill out a survey. Now, Business Insider's Alyson Shontell has posted the results. Out of 225 people who filled out the survey, "93% quit jobs in the past few years," and "57% quit jobs in the past two years without another opportunity lined up." Contrary to what readers of The New York Times might suspect, "it's not just young people who are doing this: 54% of people ages 25-34 quit without another opportunity versus 55% people of ages 35-49."

But why are these folks quitting? Shontell reveals that, for 65% of those who responded, "it's because they're not happy and simply do not like their jobs." Other reasons included "needing a change ... being bored/not challenged ... and disliking bosses." This, of course, rasies another set of questions:

So many people are losing or unable to find jobs; how can people who are employed think they're anything but lucky? Is it a lack of maturity in younger professionals, or is the pursuit of happiness a new, permanent, trend?

There aren't clear answers to this question (and those with even a passing familiarity with social science methods could point out this survey probably has one heck of a non-response bias, too). Shontell, though, ends with this thoughtful offering:

People spend years of their lives at work to improve their well-being. How that well-being is defined seems to be shifting. After all, money doesn't buy happiness.

You could also put it together with this number, highlighted by The Atlantic's Derek Thompson: "five out of six American workers want to leave their job next year."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.