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Searching for Better Pay and Benefits, 44 Percent of Workers Look for a New Job

Droves of Americans quit their jobs during the pandemic — 68.9 million by some accounts. Now a new survey shows that 44 percent of working Americans are looking fo a new job. The pandemic phenomenon the Great Resignation continues.

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More than half of the job-seekers said higher pay was a top reason for looking for a new job, found Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey.

Willis Towers Watson is a British-American multinational risk management, insurance brokerage and advisory company. 

Almost half (44 percent) of the employees are looking for a new job or plan to soon; of them, 33 percent are active job hunters who looked for new work in the fourth quarter of 2021, and 11 percent planned to look in the first quarter of 2022, according to the survey, which polled 9,658 U.S. employees from large and midsize private employers across various industries in December 2021 and January 2022.

Nearly 4.3 million people quit their jobs in January, according to most recent federal data. For the year 2021, almost 48 million people ditched their jobs, an annual record.

“The data shows employees are prepared and open to go somewhere else,” Tracey Malcolm, global leader of the future of work and risk at the consulting firm, told CNBC.

Large numbers of Black women exited the workforce. Between October and November 2021, the labor force participation rate for Black women dropped to 60.3 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In all, 181,000 of Black women exited the workforce in September 2021, with more than half (91,000) exiting in November 2021 alone. 

But people aren’t quitting just to quit. They are either entering entrepreneurship or are bargaining for a better-paying job. Others are reinventing their careers.

More than half of workers (56 percent) said pay is a top reason they are switching jobs, according to the survey. Still, nearly 20 percent said they’d accept a new job for the same pay at a different company, one that offered better health benefits, job security, flexible work arrangements and retirement benefits.

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