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Workers are eyeing the exit in 2024 as LinkedIn and Microsoft study warns more people want to quit their jobs now than during the Great Resignation

The cost of living has spiraled, the threat of layoffs (thanks to AI and overhiring) looms, and flexible working arrangements won before bosses started issuing return-to-office mandates are now like gold dust.

That's why, after three years of workers quitting their jobs at a record pace—about 47 million Americans left their jobs in 2021 alone—experts have reassured employers that 2024 will be the year of the “Great Stay”.

Even the professor who coined the term “Great Resignation” predicted that it would fizzle out by New Year's Eve 2023.

However, new data from LinkedIn and Microsoft shows that they might have been overly optimistic. The two tech giants surveyed 31,000 individuals across 31 countries and found that the percentage of people (46%) who want to quit their jobs in the year ahead is actually higher than in 2021 (40%).


Adding to the alarm, American employers are in for a rough ride: Around 85% of professionals in the U.S. are eyeing up a new job this year. Meanwhile, LinkedIn has already witnessed a 14% surge in job applications per role since the fall.

Although previous reports have suggested that bosses are back in charge—and using their renewed power to claw back employee-first initiatives like working from home—LinkedIn and Microsoft’s report reveals that they shouldn't get too cozy just yet. And they know it.

Nine out of 10 organizations globally are concerned about employee retention, and half of the hiring managers in Europe predict an increase in employee turnover in 2024. This means that keeping workers happy might just climb back to the top of managers' to-do lists.

Workers feel burned out and undervalued

LinkedIn and Microsoft told Fortune that three reasons behind the sudden uptick in workers eyeing up the exit were burnout, a lack of learning opportunities, and artificial intelligence.

LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index found that 59% of U.S. employees who are actively job-seeking agree that they feel stuck in their job (vs. 35% of those who are not job-seeking) and 51% feel burnt out from their job (vs 37%).

Likewise, Microsoft’s Work Trend Index echoed that 68% of people globally struggle with the pace and volume of work and 46% feel burned out.

“While it’s easy to mistake low attrition for contentment, in reality, many employees feel stuck and wish they could do something new, but haven’t (yet) made the leap,” LinkedIn COO Daniel Shapero recently wrote in a blog post on preparing for The Great Reshuffle 2.0.

It perhaps explains why LinkedIn found that learning opportunities are seen as a top retention strategy.

The networking platform’s 2024 Workplace Learning Report showed that globally, companies with strong learning cultures enjoy higher retention rates, with more internal mobility and people moving into management roles.

Plus, with AI threatening to displace workers, workers are placing more importance on learning than ever before—and if they aren’t getting help on fine-tuning their AI skills with their current employer, they may start looking elsewhere.

LinkedIn research shows that people want to learn how to use AI in their work, with two-thirds insisting it’ll help with their career progression.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side

As Shapero points out, history often repeats itself, and periods of low attraction are usually followed by high attrition.

A simple reason for this pattern could be that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Those who switched jobs in 2022 are now reporting being less satisfied at work than those who stayed put, according to a survey from the Conference Board.

Meanwhile, the HR platform, Paychex surveyed employees who quit during The Great Resignation and similarly found that 80% regret it.

In the end, money can’t fix everything. Both studies highlighted that those who were lured by big pay bumps during the pandemic may have failed to consider other key aspects of working.

Essentially, you can’t put a price on work-life balance, job satisfaction and good company.

This story was originally featured on