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2024’s job resignation rates by state may impact your labor retention, says Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub job resignation rates map

Source: Wallet Hub

With 54,000 fewer Americans having quit their jobs during the latest month for which data is available (January) compared to the previous month, WalletHub financial app has released its updated report on 2024’s States With the Highest Job Resignation Rates, along with expert commentary.

WalletHub ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on how frequently people are leaving their places of employment. Below, you can see highlights from the report. 

Quitting the MostQuitting the Least
1. Delaware42. Missouri
2. Alaska43. District of Columbia
3. South Carolina44. Hawaii
4. Montana45. Illinois
5. Wyoming46. Minnesota
6. West Virginia47. New Jersey
7. Kentucky48. California
8. Utah49. Michigan
9. Mississippi50. New York
10. Idaho51. Massachusetts
See full chart online. Source: Wallet Hub

As the economy has continued to recover from the economic damage of the past few years, the labor force participation rate has remained below pre-pandemic levels, with some employers having a difficult time filling all their open positions. In addition, between early 2021 and late 2023, the U.S. experienced a phenomenon dubbed the “Great Resignation,” where millions of Americans quit their jobs each month, many of whom were unsatisfied with their pay or working conditions.

Although the so-called Great Resignation is now over, workers in some states are quitting their jobs more frequently than in others. As a result, workers in states with a bigger labor shortage have more leverage in negotiating favorable terms of employment. To shed light on this situation, WalletHub took a look at the data to rank the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on how frequently people are leaving their places of employment.

View the full report and your state’s rank

Expert Commentary

Will this be a long-term issue or will we see a re-entering in the labor force of prime-age workers in 2024?

Believing ample labor is sitting on the sidelines is a dangerous proposition for employers. Instead, firms should work aggressively to reallocate internal resources, increase labor attraction and retention efforts, and, most importantly, increase labor productivity. When there are limited resources, and at this stage in the economic cycle, there is a limited resource called labor, firms need to be rational and identify the most and least profitable lines. Reallocating labor to more profitable portions of the business will help the firm remain competitive and capture market share while the economy is strong. Although human resource departments have likely made multiple changes to wages, benefits, and corporate culture, those changes are not likely enough in most cases. Firms must remember that the power dynamic of having excessive labor for a few positions, which has been the case for more than two decades, is not where the market is today. Corporate profits are at record highs, which indicates that there remains room to provide more incentives to workers. The most crucial competitive factor firms must focus on in 2024 is developing a plan to increase labor productivity. Given that the labor market is at or near full employment, those companies that can increase the output per existing worker will gain a larger market share and profit over their competitors.

Jeremy Hill – director, Center for Economic Development and Business Research, Wichita State University

Asking whether these trends would reverse in a particular year is futile; these are decadal phenomena; my sense is that these trends will stabilize, but not revert; we have already reached peak remote work, at least for the near future, and that is the only driving force I see out there.

Giuseppe Moscarini – professor, Yale University
Has remote working determined, in any way, this change in the labor force?

If anything, it reduced it because working from home is easier for most people, and if you have a remote job, it is not so easy to get another, so you do not quit.

Peter Cappelli – professor; director, Center for Human Resources, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Remote work should raise participation rates, by making it easier to reconcile work with child care, high housing costs, and dual-earner job search; the fact that participation rates are no longer falling, especially for women, after the pandemic, may be indeed related to remote work arrangements; but let us not forget that remote work was already expanding, on a much smaller scale, in the last two decades.

Giuseppe Moscarini – professor, Yale University