The Great Resignation: Voluntary Termination Research from Namely Highlights Significant Risk and Retention Trends

Study Uncovers Overall Workforce Instability, Especially Prevalent Among Service Workers

New York, New York

NEW YORK, Aug. 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Namely, the leading HR platform for mid-sized companies, has conducted resignation research examining trends across more than 122,000 termination events from 2019-2021, to date.

Among the developments examined were what voluntary attrition looked like prior to the pandemic; which sectors were experiencing the highest rates of voluntary terminations; and whether ethnicity and race were factors. The results validated the “resignation tsunami” underway, especially in the service sector and by Asian and Hispanic/Latino workers.

Industry experts studying the phenomena cite the pandemic as one of the key reasons for voluntary resignations; however, “turnover shocks” can also be attributed to return-to-office mandates, lack of quality benefits, or watching close colleagues resign.

Namely CEO Larry Dunivan commented, “Workers are leaving their jobs at rates higher than previously seen. For employers, this raises the probability of derailing the business. For employees, they might find the grass isn’t necessarily greener. In any case, employee engagement is a primary concern for employers of choice, and our research has uncovered some surprising trends. No one is immune from these mass resignations, as even those employees who have seniority are leaving voluntarily.”

According to Namely, in 2020, employees voluntarily left their jobs on average 9.6 percent less than in 2019. In sharp contrast, in 2021, employees voluntarily left their jobs 10.6 percent more than in 2019, up 20.2 percent from 2020. In 2020, the drop in voluntary attrition was less pronounced for Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian employees. In 2021, Asian and Hispanic/Latino employees became more likely to leave jobs voluntarily, with Asian attrition at 15.7 percent higher than in 2019 and Hispanic/Latino attrition 19.1 percent higher (2021 vs. 2019).

According to the Labor Department, nearly four million people quit their jobs in April 2021, the most on record. Namely’s research revealed that service workers voluntarily left jobs at an alarming rate in 2021 (43.8 percent more likely than 2019). The most muted disparity was for sales workers, who demonstrated a voluntary attrition rate of 8.8 percent below the average increase.

Dunivan added, “A number of conclusions can be drawn from our research, and some can be attributed to the employers’ culture, flexibility, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Regardless of the individual circumstances, no sector can afford a high percentage of workforce instability.”

Going forward, Namely’s Voluntary Termination Research will be updated on a quarterly basis. To receive upcoming reports, please subscribe to the Namely Blog:

About Namely

Distinguished by its intense commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, HR technology leader Namely is an employer of choice that helps mid-sized employers and their employees thrive. Delivering and streamlining the complexities of recruiting, onboarding, time & attendance, performance management, benefits administration, compliance, payroll, and analytics from a single platform, Namely also offers Managed Payroll and Benefits services. The company further differentiates the client experience through personalized service and easy-to-use applications. Learn more at and follow us @NamelyHR.


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