Special Report

States Where the Most People Are Quitting Their Jobs

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In what has been dubbed the Great Resignation, Americans have been quitting their jobs in record numbers in recent months – a trend that shows few signs of slowing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 4.3 million Americans quit their job in December 2021, down only slightly from an all time high of 4.5 million quits a month earlier and more than anything reported in the United States up to and including the summer of 2021. 

Broad explanations for high quit rates are varied. Survey data reveals unmanageable workloads, unsupportive colleagues, and lack of professional development to be among the most common explanations. Often, however, the reasons are as simple as the desire for higher pay or more benefits – and many employers, large and small, are now raising wages in an effort to keep workers on staff. This is the industry people are quitting the fastest

Whatever the explanation, the consequences are clear. Record high quits are exacerbating a labor shortage in the United States and creating an existential crisis for many small businesses. And in some states, quit rates are far higher than the national average. 

Using data from the BLS, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states where the most people are quitting their job. States are ranked by the number of people who quit in December 2021 as a share of total employment. 

Depending on the state, the share of workers who quit their jobs in December, the most recent month of available data, ranges from 2.1% to 5.5%. For context, 2.9% of workers nationwide quit their jobs in November. 

Though there are exceptions, states with higher unemployment rates tend to have lower quit rates. Since quits do not include workers who retire, each of the 4.3 million Americans who quit in December will presumably take another job. A weaker job market, therefore, may act as a deterrent to those who consider quitting in some parts of the country, while a stronger job market may encourage some workers. Here is a look at the worst states to look for a job.

Click here to see the states where the most people are quitting their jobs
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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50. New York
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.1% of workforce (195,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 5.0%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +36.4%
> Labor force size: 9,140,537 people

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49. Pennsylvania
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.3% of workforce (133,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.0%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +30.4%
> Labor force size: 6,141,644 people

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48. Hawaii
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.4% of workforce (14,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.9%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +75.0%
> Labor force size: 649,265 people

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

47. Connecticut
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.4% of workforce (39,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +34.5%
> Labor force size: 1,832,459 people

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46. Washington
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.4% of workforce (84,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.8%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +37.7%
> Labor force size: 3,975,042 people

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45. New Jersey
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.4% of workforce (99,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.9%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +39.4%
> Labor force size: 4,451,722 people

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44. South Dakota
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.5% of workforce (11,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +10.0%
> Labor force size: 467,186 people

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43. Iowa
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.5% of workforce (39,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.9%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +39.3%
> Labor force size: 1,660,698 people

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42. Maryland
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.5% of workforce (67,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.0%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +48.9%
> Labor force size: 3,120,513 people

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41. Massachusetts
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.6% of workforce (93,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.5%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +86.0%
> Labor force size: 3,692,403 people

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40. California
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.6% of workforce (431,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 5.0%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +37.3%
> Labor force size: 19,065,788 people

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39. Nebraska
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.7% of workforce (28,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 1.3%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +16.7%
> Labor force size: 1,025,634 people

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38. Kansas
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.7% of workforce (38,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.2%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +26.7%
> Labor force size: 1,487,429 people

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37. Illinois
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.7% of workforce (157,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.3%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +4.0%
> Labor force size: 6,320,577 people

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36. New Hampshire
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.8% of workforce (19,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.2%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +46.2%
> Labor force size: 743,280 people

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35. Minnesota
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 2.8% of workforce (80,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.7%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +42.9%
> Labor force size: 3,030,129 people

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34. New Mexico
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.0% of workforce (25,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.8%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +4.2%
> Labor force size: 959,857 people

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

33. Utah
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.0% of workforce (49,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 1.3%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +36.1%
> Labor force size: 1,686,575 people

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32. Colorado
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.0% of workforce (83,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.1%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +5.1%
> Labor force size: 3,227,853 people

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31. North Dakota
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (13,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.8%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +30.0%
> Labor force size: 396,900 people

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30. Rhode Island
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (15,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.7%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +36.4%
> Labor force size: 551,653 people

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29. Maine
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (19,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.0%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +58.3%
> Labor force size: 665,686 people

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28. Oregon
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (59,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.6%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +20.4%
> Labor force size: 2,166,263 people

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27. Alabama
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (63,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.8%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +21.2%
> Labor force size: 2,238,778 people

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26. Wisconsin
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (90,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.0%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +60.7%
> Labor force size: 3,093,829 people

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25. Arizona
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (94,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.8%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +6.8%
> Labor force size: 3,657,606 people

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24. Ohio
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (166,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +33.9%
> Labor force size: 5,679,536 people

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23. Texas
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.1% of workforce (409,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.3%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +3.3%
> Labor force size: 14,398,693 people

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22. Nevada
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.2% of workforce (44,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 5.2%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +29.4%
> Labor force size: 1,536,416 people

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21. Oklahoma
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.2% of workforce (53,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 1.8%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +23.3%
> Labor force size: 1,862,935 people

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

20. Missouri
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.2% of workforce (92,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.7%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +22.7%
> Labor force size: 3,053,267 people

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19. North Carolina
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.2% of workforce (147,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.2%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +22.5%
> Labor force size: 5,070,354 people

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18. Wyoming
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.3% of workforce (9,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +28.6%
> Labor force size: 290,223 people

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17. Delaware
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.3% of workforce (15,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.2%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +15.4%
> Labor force size: 491,967 people

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16. Montana
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.3% of workforce (16,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 1.9%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +33.3%
> Labor force size: 541,665 people

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15. Idaho
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.3% of workforce (26,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 1.9%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +23.8%
> Labor force size: 907,663 people

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14. Arkansas
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.3% of workforce (43,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +19.4%
> Labor force size: 1,352,420 people

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

13. Kentucky
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.3% of workforce (62,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +19.2%
> Labor force size: 2,014,005 people

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

12. Tennessee
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.3% of workforce (102,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.3%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +20.0%
> Labor force size: 3,348,942 people

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11. Virginia
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.3% of workforce (130,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.7%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +56.6%
> Labor force size: 4,252,784 people

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

10. West Virginia
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.4% of workforce (24,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.9%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +20.0%
> Labor force size: 782,740 people

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9. Louisiana
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.4% of workforce (64,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.7%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +16.4%
> Labor force size: 2,057,188 people

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

8. South Carolina
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.4% of workforce (73,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.3%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +35.2%
> Labor force size: 2,391,893 people

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7. Michigan
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.4% of workforce (143,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 4.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +27.7%
> Labor force size: 4,772,856 people

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6. Indiana
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.5% of workforce (108,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 1.3%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +27.1%
> Labor force size: 3,277,064 people

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

5. Florida
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.5% of workforce (315,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.2%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +43.2%
> Labor force size: 10,622,172 people

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4. Mississippi
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.6% of workforce (41,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 3.1%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +2.5%
> Labor force size: 1,255,553 people

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

3. Vermont
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.7% of workforce (11,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.2%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +57.1%
> Labor force size: 315,107 people

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2. Georgia
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 3.8% of workforce (175,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 2.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +25.9%
> Labor force size: 5,207,912 people

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1. Alaska
> Quits in Dec. 2021: 5.5% of workforce (17,000 total quits)
> Dec. 2021 unemployment: 5.4%
> 1-year change in number of workers who quit: +54.5%
> Labor force size: 351,565 people

Methodology 

To determine the states where the most people are quitting their jobs, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. States are ranked by the quit rate – the number of people who quit in December 2021 as a share of total employment. For multiple states with the same quit rate, ties were broken by the actual number of quits. 

Figures on unemployment and labor force size, which includes Americans either working or actively looking for work, are also from the BLS.

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