You’re Most Likely to Switch Jobs for More Money — According to Research

The conventional employee retention wisdom says that people leave bad bosses but, according to recent survey research conducted by Rasmussen College, people go to money.

The Rasmussen Research (2014)

More than half of the 2,000 people surveyed by Rasmussen said they would consider leaving their current job for more money.

Thus, as the economy heats up, and it seems to be on a roll right now, HR and C-suite execs will do well to understand both sides of the employee decision. What makes people stay? What makes people go?

After years of paltry recession-era raises, it appears that money, or even the belief that there will be more money at a different company in the future, talk:

What Do You Think?

Is this a blip or are people really five times more likely to take a new job for more money (50% in the survey results above) than they are to get away from an unlikeable boss (10%)?

Are attitudes shifting?

More Research (2015)

$75,000 might be the magic number when money starts to matter less. See more here.

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Image: Fotolia/Viacheslav Iakobchu
Updated June 2017

© 2014 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 6

  1. Interesting post. I think it is dependent on who you are asking. Minimum wage, money is an important factor, ask developers and it really is not an issue in the mix because they expect to be well paid, and will take up to 20% drop for the right job.

  2. Any chance we’re trying to compare apples and oranges? It seems there may have been two different questions asked.

    Other surveys have been based on why DID you leave your last job.

    This survey is asking a future-tense question, why WOULD you leave your current job.

    I am an internal career development coach for a very large organization. By far and away I hear more complaints about bosses than money.

  3. The question that continues to reverberate within my head is, “Does money buy happiness?”
    There are salary limits, I hope, to people with particular experiences, skills, and knowledge.
    At some point, the intangibles must come into play: am I happy with my co-workers, my work environment; am I afforded time to enjoy life outside of work; is my work an extension of my passions; is my manager a tyrant; does the company benefit my community and society?

  4. Good question Diane. I thought the difference between the motivational dissatisfaction from bad bosses or “inadequate” pay was interesting. I’ve also noticed over time that some people leave jobs and some people go to jobs. This survey seemed to say they would go to money. You might be hearing that people will leave bad bosses. In the end, the leave or go to question isn’t as big as the fact that they’re gone!


  5. Good point Bill. What is the cash income level that makes people start to give value to factors other than money? Does it vary by profession, industry, or current income level?


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