2 in 5 workers intend to leave their jobs this year, study shows

Work-related stress and burnout compounded by the pandemic has increased levels of dissatisfaction in the U.S. workforce. Many workers now feeling the pressure plan to leave their current posts this year, an Oct. 4 American Psychological Association report found.

More than 1,500 workers were included in the online survey that took place between July and August. The results revealed a fed-up and stressed-out workforce.

Low salary, lack of growth opportunities and long hours were all reasons cited for the increase in work stress among U.S. employees since the pandemic. More than 2 in 5 workers said they intend to leave their current role this year, and the effect is even more pronounced for Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ and disabled employees. In industries already dealing with staff shortages, like healthcare, this represents a future problem. Lower-level employees are also more likely to feel stressed, with 67 percent of front-line workers experiencing negative work-related stress. 

To combat these stressors, the authors recommended employers take an active interest in the mental health of their employees by encouraging time off, being more flexible with their hours and advocating for mental health maintenance. 

"A workplace that pays attention to worker well-being is better positioned to recruit and retain engaged and productive staff," said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, APA's chief executive officer.

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