25+ Employee Retention Statistics & Trends [2024 & beyond]

Employee retention is often a major talking point due to its profound impact on individuals and companies.

In the wake of the Great Resignation, this focus has intensified as businesses need to keep hold of talent to stay competitive.

Staying current with labor market trends can be challenging when there’s a vast, ever-changing supply of data.

Read our list to discover the most essential employee retention statistics.

Top Employee Retention Stats

Here’s a look at the most compelling employee retention statistics from our research:

  • The number of resignations in the US is declining after a peak of 2.7 in 2022.
  • 36% of workers “seriously considered quitting their job” in 2023.
  • “Toxic workplace culture” is the top reason people give for leaving a job.
  • 54% of CHROs say retention is a priority in 2024.
  • The majority of candidates decide whether to accept an offer based on the company’s work-life balance.

Current State of Employee Retention

Stable retention rates are critical to business health. When high employee turnover is a widespread issue, it can also affect entire economies.

The Great Resignation in 2022 sent the labor market into chaos. Now the situation is stabilizing but the outlook is uncertain and organizations worldwide are still making retention a priority. 

In this section, we’ll give an overview of the current labor market and global retention rates plus how business leaders are reacting.

US quit rates have dropped back to pre-pandemic levels after their historic high of 2.7% in 2022. (BLS)

Since April 2023, the rate of voluntary resignations in the US has remained around 2.3%.

The total number of separations (both layoffs and resignations) is around 5 million per month.

Around 40% of workers see better career opportunities beyond their current employer. (Eagle Hill Consulting)

employee career opportunities stats

Key retention indicators such as organizational confidence and culture have led Eagle Hill Consulting to predict another wave of resignations in mid-2024.

When employees quit, their direct colleagues are 9.1% more likely to leave.

The smaller the team, the greater the probability of teammates leaving. However, the risk of turnover contagion lessens over time and usually disappears after 135 days.

Workers are more likely to quit in the weeks after a close colleague resigns.Source

55% of managers intend to leave their jobs as their engagement levels dip. (Gallup)

Less than a quarter of those in management roles feel valued or supported by their companies.

Only 31% feel engaged at work and that number has been decreasing since 2020.

Over half of companies are prioritizing employee attraction and retention strategies in 2024. (The Conference Board)

Although HR leaders feel confident about hiring, they’re not optimistic about turnover.

Only 28% of CHROs expect their retention rates to improve.

Diana Scott

“HR leaders’ optimism is waning as recession remains on the horizon to start 2024. With a third of CHROs expecting employee engagement to decline, it is reassuring that CHROs plan to strengthen employee experience and organizational culture in 2024.

And while the percentage of CHROs planning to hire workers ticked up after a steep drop last quarter, nearly a quarter expect to lose workers in the coming months.

It follows that an overwhelming percentage of leaders say retaining existing workers will be a key part of their talent strategy next year.”

Diana Scott, Leader of The Conference Board US Human Capital Center

Employers underestimate the likelihood of their staff pursuing new career opportunities during a downturn. (Ernst & Young)

57% of business leaders think a poor economy will stop their employees from looking elsewhere for jobs.

However, only 47% of workers agree they wouldn’t pursue other opportunities in a recession.

Improving retention and employment rates won’t solve the United States’ labor shortage. (US Chamber of Commerce)

There are 9.4 million open positions in the US but only 6.3 million job seekers.

Even if every citizen was employed, the country would still need 3 million workers to make up the shortfall.

Media Reporting on Employee Retention

Often, there are major stories about incidents like mass resignations and new labor policies which have far-reaching implications.

Let’s look at what’s caught the public’s interest:

The IRS has rejected 20,000 claims for employee retention credits. (CNBC)

rejection of employee retention credits

During lockdowns, the US government awarded tax refunds to businesses that retained their workforce despite a lack of customers.

There’s been a rise in third-party companies pushing businesses to make wrongful claims based on misleading information since then.

The tech giants have the lowest retention rates of the 20 biggest US companies.

Apple tops the list with an average tenure of just 1.7 years but Amazon and Meta aren’t far behind on 1.8 years.

The reporter for Visual Capitalist suggests that growing dissatisfaction with return-to-work mandates may be to blame.

average employee tenure for large tech companies
Tech companies have the lowest retention rates of the big-name US brands.

Nintendo has a retention rate of 98.9%, well above Japan’s average of 70%. (GameRant)

In an interview with GameRant, expert Hiroki Okamoto said he believed the gaming company’s success was due to its reputation.

However, the GameRant writer also suggested Nintendo’s generous salaries and benefits played a part.

Five US states have banned non-compete clauses and more are to follow. (Forbes)

California, Colorado, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Minnesota have all enforced the ban.

The new legislation makes it easier for employees to leave companies to pursue new career opportunities.

Turnover Statistics by Industry

Employee turnover looks different between sectors. Some industries always experience high turnover and businesses account for this in their hiring and retention strategies.

Others depend on their team’s loyalty to survive. Here, we’ll look at the state of employee retention across different business types.

Government state and federal jobs have the lowest turnover rates of any sector in the US at around 1.5%. (BLS)

The public sector is known for its stability and competitive benefits which may keep employees at their jobs.

At the other end of the scale, hospitality, leisure, and service companies have the highest turnover at around 5.5% to 6%.

Companies in the education, health, and social assistance sectors are at the lowest risk of downsizing. (The Conference Board)

As these industries provide essential services, they’re less likely to struggle during a recession.

Transport and construction are most likely to be at risk of contraction as consumers curb their spending.

Over 100,000 employees were laid off during 2023 in the tech industry. (CNBC)

Google, Microsoft, and Meta were among the businesses that downsized their workforce.

Many of those affected have left the industry altogether and found work in different fields.

laid off employees with a new jobs
After more than 100,000 tech workers entered the employment market, many found jobs in other sectors. Source

Senior product management roles come with the highest risk of resignation. (Payscale)

Despite an average salary of $144,000 per year, 66% of people with this job plan to leave.

Phlebotomists (medical technicians who analyze blood) and line cooks come in second and third place respectively.

Turnover Statistics by Demographics

Diverse groups have distinct needs and preferences when it comes to their jobs.

That’s why it can be helpful to break down statistics by factors like age, gender, and ethnicity.

Around a third of total workers are thinking about leaving their company. (CNBC)

Millennials are most likely to have thought about resigning out of all the age groups.

However, the rate remains consistent across the different genders and ethnicities.

39% of Gen Z workers would look for a new job due to possible layoffs. (The Muse)

gen z workers stats

By comparison, less than a quarter of older generations would consider leaving over potential job cuts.

Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers are all more likely to quit because of toxic work culture.

Europe and Eurasia have the lowest attrition risks—only a third of their workers are considering leaving their jobs. (Gallup)

Latin America isn’t far behind with just 41% of workers thinking about quitting.

On the other hand, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia have the highest risk of voluntary turnover.

A Gallup survey discovered the risk of attrition varies wildly across geographical regions.

One in seven UK workers quit their jobs over 2023. (Cendex)

The country’s voluntary turnover rate was 13.8% overall. Public sector and not-for-profit companies had the highest resignation rates as almost one in five of their workforce quit.

Recent Trends in Worker Priorities

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to remote work and international teams.

Alongside these transformations, employees’ attitudes to their jobs have begun to change.

Here, we explore statistics that demonstrate what people expect from employers and which factors motivate them to stay in their roles.

Work-life balance has become job seekers’ number one priority.

70% of people said they look at a company’s work-life balance when deciding whether to accept a job.

Compensation is close behind at 67% indicating that it’s still a major consideration.

evaluation factors for a new job
The Muse discovered employers are more likely to win over staff with strong work-life balance than competitive pay. Source

When employees feel psychologically safe in the workplace, only 3% of them are likely to resign. (Boston Consulting Group)

Psychologically safety means fostering a culture where employees feel safe to express their opinions or take risks.

When businesses fail to do so, the attrition rate can reach up to 12%.

Workers are 63% more likely to resign if they receive inadequate feedback. (Textio)

Infrequent or low-quality performance management can make it difficult for teams to understand what their employer expects of them.

In some scenarios, badly worded feedback may perpetuate biases and make underrepresented groups feel negatively toward the company.

Flexibility is king with only 3% of employees saying they’d prefer to work full-time at the office. (FlexJobs)

Workers are willing to leave their jobs due to a lack of flexibility. 56% of people say they know someone who has either left or plans to leave over return-to-work mandates.

Erik Pham

“In 2023, we made the decision to mandate a return to work. Our goal was to foster more collaboration but it became clear a lot of our workforce enjoyed the flexibility of working from home.

There was resistance followed by a notable dip in retention. We acknowledge the importance of employee feedback and so we reassessed our policy.

Instead of insisting on a return, we talked to teams and opted for a 3-day work week. The transition to a flexible schedule has been transformative for Health Canal.

Employees love the new policy and it’s led to better work-life balance as well as resolving the turnover issue.”

Erik Pham, CEO and founder at HealthCanal

Great onboarding is essential when 80% of workers who feel undertrained plan to quit. (Paychex)

By comparison, only 7% of new hires were considering leaving after adequate training.

Respondents said a proper welcome, simple processes, and whole team involvement make an excellent onboarding experience.

Recent Trends in Employee Retention Strategies

While turnover rates have leveled out since the Great Resignation, business leader’s minds are still on attrition.

This section explores what retention strategies companies have tried and the results they’ve seen.

36% of HR leaders say that hiring and retention are their key challenges.

key challenges for HR leaders

Almost a third of HR teams said they’re investing their time into leadership development and engagement.

These survey responses indicate a trend toward reinforcing company culture over hiring talent.

biggest hr challenges
HR leaders are far more likely to cite retention as a major obstacle than any other challenge. Source

Learning and development is most organizations’ top retention strategy. (LinkedIn)

Investing in skills helps improve internal mobility. When employees make a career move, they’re 75% more likely to stay with their current company.

Marina Dedolko

“To effectively reduce turnover, as we’re in the competitive IT industry, we’ve implemented and developed new L&D initiatives for all our employees. 

We now have a massive L&D department and a Competency Center. These teams are responsible for making sure people have the skills to do their jobs efficiently, are able to engage with their tasks, and feel taken care of.

As a result, our attrition rate is at 6% annually which is one of the lowest in the industry.”

Marina Dedolko, Senior Growth Manager at SENLA

70% of businesses are investing more into base salaries to incentivize workers to stay. (Gallagher)

More and more companies are also focusing on health and support. Over a third say they’re enhancing their medical benefits and wellbeing initiatives.

Organizations don’t expect AI to have a significant impact on workforce numbers. (McKinsey)

30% of business leaders say they predict little to no change. A quarter think they may experience a decrease of around 3% to 10% in their staffing.

Wrap Up

Although the labor market has improved since the Great Resignation, the economy is still turbulent.

Companies are focused on retention to help them stay resilient through a possible recession.

Despite the challenges, we can afford to be optimistic. Attitudes toward retention are changing—more organizations are recognizing the need to support workers to earn their loyalty.

We can expect the workplace to keep improving as businesses invest more in employee wellbeing.

Rhiannon is an experienced B2B SaaS content writer who specializes in reviews and comparisons to help readers make the most fully-informed choices.