Looking For A Job? New Report Reveals States With Highest Resignation Rates

WASHINGTON — How likely are you to quit your job? A new report finds the answer may come down to where you live.

As the calendar turns to 2024, fewer Americans are now quitting their jobs. January saw 54,000 fewer Americans leaving their jobs compared to the previous month, signaling a potential cooling off from the “Great Resignation” era. This period, spanning from early 2021 to late 2023, saw a staggering number of U.S. workers leaving their jobs, many dissatisfied with pay or working conditions.

Despite the Great Resignation apparently coming to an end, disparities from state to state in job resignation rates persist, highlighting regions where labor shortages provide employees with greater bargaining power.

“Although leaders complain about the amount and quality of people available, the concerns remain misguided. The reality is that the labor force continues to expand despite the market reaching near full employment, a concept that assumes that everyone who wants to work at the prevailing wage rate has already been employed,” says Jeremy Hill, director at Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research, in a media release.

A comprehensive analysis conducted by WalletHub ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the frequency of job resignations, offering insights into the evolving labor market dynamics. This analysis is particularly relevant as the economy seeks to recover from the substantial disruptions caused over the past few years.

‘The First State’ Is Leading In Resignations

Researchers with WalletHub found that Delaware, the small East Coast state with barely over a million residents, is leading the way when it comes to workers quitting their jobs. “The First State” continues to carry a resignation rate of more than three percent heading into 2024.

The top five consisted of states with relatively smaller populations, including Alaska (2nd), South Carolina (3rd), Montana (4th), Wyoming (5th).

On the other end of the spectrum, the states with the lowest job resignation rates generally had some of the largest populations (and biggest labor forces) in the country — including Massachusetts (51st), New York (50th), Michigan (49th), California (48th), and New Jersey (47th).

States With the Highest Job Resignation Rates

Rank  State Resignation Rate (Latest Month)  Resignation Rate (Last 12 Months) 
1 Delaware 3.00% 3.18%
2 Alaska 2.80% 3.50%
3 South Carolina 2.90% 2.98%
4 Montana 2.70% 3.32%
5 Wyoming 2.70% 3.28%
6 West Virginia 2.70% 3.23%
7 Kentucky 2.80% 2.90%
8 Utah 2.80% 2.79%
9 Mississippi 2.70% 3.03%
10 Idaho 2.70% 2.96%
11 Louisiana 2.60% 3.14%
12 Tennessee 2.50% 2.91%
13 Florida 2.50% 2.80%
14 Oklahoma 2.50% 2.78%
15 Colorado 2.60% 2.51%
16 Alabama 2.40% 2.83%
17 Texas 2.40% 2.73%
18 Arkansas 2.30% 2.80%
19 Maryland 2.40% 2.50%
20 Oregon 2.40% 2.45%
21 Georgia 2.20% 2.85%
22 Nevada 2.30% 2.58%
23 Rhode Island 2.40% 2.23%
24 South Dakota 2.20% 2.66%
25 Nebraska 2.30% 2.32%
26 Virginia 2.20% 2.58%
27 Arizona 2.10% 2.83%
28 Maine 2.30% 2.28%
29 New Mexico 2.20% 2.51%
30 Indiana 2.10% 2.57%
31 New Hampshire 2.20% 2.30%
32 Pennsylvania 2.30% 1.98%
33 Connecticut 2.30% 1.94%
34 Wisconsin 2.10% 2.30%
35 Vermont 2.00% 2.43%
36 Kansas 1.90% 2.43%
37 North Dakota 1.80% 2.67%
38 Iowa 1.90% 2.36%
39 North Carolina 1.80% 2.61%
40 Washington 2.00% 2.06%
41 Ohio 1.90% 2.29%
42 Missouri 1.90% 2.28%
43 District of Columbia 2.00% 2.0%
44 Hawaii 2.00% 1.98%
45 Illinois 1.90% 2.12%
46 Minnesota 1.60% 2.23%
47 New Jersey 1.70% 1.85%
48 California 1.60% 1.79%
49 Michigan 1.50% 2.05%
50 New York 1.60% 1.58%
51 Massachusetts 1.50% 1.53%

 

Giuseppe Moscarini, a professor at Yale University, views the shift in the labor market as a long-term phenomenon, unlikely to reverse in the near future. He points out that while remote work has reached its peak, it alone will not drastically alter labor force trends.

“The fact that participation rates are no longer falling, especially for women, after the pandemic, may be indeed related to remote work arrangements,” notes Moscarini. “But let us not forget that remote work was already expanding, on a much smaller scale, in the last two decades.”

man in black sweater using macbook pro
A comprehensive analysis conducted by WalletHub ranks the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the frequency of job resignations, offering insights into the evolving labor market dynamics. (Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash)

Victoria Prowse, the Magner Chair and professor of Economics at Purdue University, states “remote work has fundamentally reshaped the labor landscape.”

“This led to increased competition among employers for a reduced workforce, giving employees leverage to secure jobs with better compensation or other advantages over their current roles,” she says.

Methodology

To rank the states and the District of Columbia, WalletHub considered the rate at which people quit their jobs in both the latest month and the last 12 months. We then used these metrics to rank-order the resignation rates from highest to lowest.

  • Resignation Rate (Latest Month): Double Weight (~66.67 Points)
  • Resignation Rate (Last 12 Months): Full Weight (~33.33 Points)

Data used to create this ranking was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

StudyFinds’ Matt Higgins contributed to this report.

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