American workers indicate that disrespect and low pay are behind the Great Resignation, according to Pew Research study.

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The Pew Research Center surveyed nearly 10,000 American workers to learn more about why such large numbers of people have quit their jobs.

American workers have been fleeing jobs in record numbers for over a year now, and a new study has more insights into why: people aren't getting the respect they want from employers.

Oh yeah. And they're tired of lousy pay, also.

The Pew Research Center survey also found that too few opportunities for advancement were among the top reasons American workers are leaving their jobs. The latest Labor Department statistics suggest that more than 47 million people quit their jobs in 2021. The so-called 'Great Resignation' reached a furious pace last November, when the Labor Department said the American workforce's "quit rate" had reached a 20-year high.

Departed employees say the grass is definitely greener when they land a new job, according to the Pew Research Center analysis. "Those who quit and are now employed elsewhere are more likely than not to say their current job has better pay, more opportunities for advancement and more work-life balance and flexibility," the researchers said.

Most people (63 percent) surveyed by Pew researchers said low pay and no career path were key reasons they had left their jobs. A large number (57 percent) also said feeling disrespected by superiors and colleagues at work was a motivating factor.

Researchers obtained responses from 9,388 panelists between February 7 and 13 from a pool of 10,467 who were sampled. The margin of error - based on the 90-percent response rate - is plus or minus 1.6 percentage points, according to the Pew Research Center.

Other key work-life issues that played a role in worker decisions to quit:

  • Child care difficulties - particularly among those with offspring younger than 18 years old.
  • Too little flexibility of work hours.
  • Poor benefit packages such as incomplete health care coverage and paid time off.

A little over 30 percent of those polled said the COVID-19 pandemic was related to their decision to quit a job, while about 35 percent reported wanting to relocate. "Relatively few (18 percent) cite their employer requiring a COVID-19 vaccine as a reason" for quitting, the researchers said.

For the most part, workers who quit a job last year and are now employed somewhere else see their current work situation as an improvement over their most recent job. At least half of these workers say that compared with their last job, they are now earning more money, have more opportunities for advancement, have an easier time balancing work and family responsibilities and have more flexibility to choose when they put in their work hours. - The Pew Research Center

Many workers didn't just quit their job - they changed careers entirely.

The Pew study found that 53 percent of employed adults who quit a job in 2021 "changed their field of work or occupation at some point in the past year." This dynamic was most prominent among those younger than 30 and those who have not achieved a post-graduate or advanced degree.

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