Workplace Issues

Millennials Cite Stagnant Pay as Top Reason for Quitting

Millennials want flexible work schedules and bosses that encourage teamwork, but their top reason for leaving a job is an old one: lack of wage gro...
Matthew HellerMay 5, 2015
Millennials Cite Stagnant Pay as Top Reason for Quitting

Minimal wage growth is the top reason why U.S. millennials quit their jobs, according to an Ernst & Young survey.

Seventy-eight percent of millennials questioned as part of E&Y’s Global Generations survey cited stagnant wages as a reason for quitting, just ahead of lack of advancement opportunities (75%) and excessive overtime (72%).

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Rounding out the top-five list were a work environment that doesn’t encourage teamwork (66%) and a boss who doesn’t allow a flexible work schedule (66%).

quitE&Y’s research also showed that workplace flexibility may be a double-edged sword for millennials. A “flexibility stigma,” or the perception that people who work flexibly or take leave will suffer career consequences, was a top-five reason for quitting in five of the other seven countries E&Y surveyed — the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and China.

India and Japan were the only countries in which issues over flexibility did not make the top-five list.

EY surveyed a total of 9,700 full-time workers at companies in the eight countries.

“We were especially interested in millennials, who are facing a perfect storm of increased responsibilities by moving into management and becoming parents simultaneously,” Karyn Twaronite, E&Y’s global diversity and inclusiveness officer, said in a news release.

“Knowing that millennials and parents are under increasing pressure, we wanted to understand what employees seek in a job and why they quit, why they stay, and how this differs by generation,” she added.

The survey found that parents are more likely than non-parents to mention a lack of opportunity to advance as a reason to quit, demonstrating continued career ambition after having children, and flexibility issues are considerably more important to parents than non-parents as a reason for quitting.

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