Job Turnovers Are at Highest Rate in a Decade, MRA Survey Shows

March 09, 2022
Press Release
Talent Management
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Job Turnovers Are at Highest Rate in a Decade, MRA Survey Shows

MILWAUKEE, WI (March 9, 2022) – The newly released Turnover Survey from MRA—The Management Association shows that 2021 turnover increased to 25.4 percent, the highest rate it has been in the past decade.

This year’s rate is up from MRA’s 2020 report, in which turnover was at 21.2 percent. MRA’s Turnover Survey has seen a steady increase year over year since 2014. There was a slight decrease in 2020’s turnover rates, most likely due to the personal management of the pandemic and individual safety. However, turnover rates are continuing to rise past pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels (the turnover rate from MRA’s 2019 report was at 24.3 percent). See fig. 5 below showing the Turnover Rate 8-Year Trend.


Zach Day, Director, Surveys, Custom Research & Analytics for MRA, noted, “While the attention and suddenness of the ‘Great Resignation’ feels like a significant increase, organizations were experiencing similar challenges prior to the pandemic.

“At this rate, one of every four employees on average leave,” said Day. “This critical strain has challenged employers to become more creative in their recruiting and retention strategies. Talent acquisition has become a key focus.”

Production, maintenance, service, and trade positions saw the highest turnover rate of all groups with one in three (33.6 percent) employees leaving their organizations for different opportunities. The majority of those employees (66 percent) were within two years of their employment, indicating that this employee group is job-hopping, leaving employers struggling to sustain consistent workforces.

With available skilled labor at a premium, organizations are enticing candidates by increasing starting wages and offering additional incentives and benefits.

MRA’s survey also showed that high-performer turnover is at a 3-year-high (6.2 percent).

“These losses cause additional challenges,” said Kristie Haase, Employee Engagement Survey Director at MRA. “With skilled talent at a premium, it may require a different approach to engage high performers. Honest conversations should be a key strategy to counteract potential turnover of valued employees.”

With competition for talent on the rise, retention has become a larger focus for staffing strategies. Knowing the root cause of why an employee left can help an organization take the necessary steps to fix or prevent issues. The primary drivers to why employees are leaving include (in no order):

  • More salary/better benefits
  • Similar job at another employer
  • Career change
  • Retirement
  • Due to performance

MRA suggests there are many actions that organizations can take to counteract the potential impact of increased employee turnover. Exit interviews were the top action employers (66 percent) took in 2021 to help reduce future turnover. Retention strategies can help affect turnover and are worth the investment for an organization to understand their employees. Focusing on the development of employee careers, job satisfaction, and strong company cultures will help prevent current employees from looking elsewhere.

“While employee turnover remains a concern, the outlook of the economy and revenue growth suggests that organizations are succeeding despite the talent management challenges,” added Day. “MRA’s annual turnover survey is dedicated to help organizations find the root cause of turnover, estimate the cost-to-hire, and plan for today’s ever-changing economy.”

In this survey, data is broken out by four key employee groups: Executive; Managerial, Supervisory, & Professional; Office & Technical; and Production, Maintenance, Service & Trades Workers, including breakouts by state, organization size, industry, revenue, and profit status. Data was contributed by 495 organizations. The survey was conducted December 2021 to January 2022.  

To obtain a copy of MRA’s full 2022 Turnover Survey, contact the Surveys team at 800.488.4845 ex. 3508.

About MRA—The Management Association: Founded in 1901, MRA is a nonprofit employer association that serves 4,000 employers, covering more than 1 million employees worldwide. As one of the largest employer associations in the nation, MRA helps its members thrive by offering comprehensive HR services, talent management, learning and organization development opportunities, and total rewards planning. MRA helps organizations build a successful workplace and powerful workforce. Headquartered in Wisconsin, MRA has regional offices in Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. To learn more about MRA, visit