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Kentucky has the fourth unhappiest workforce in the US

New research reveals the industries and states with the highest rate of resignations in the United States.

  • Kentucky has a resignation rate of 31 per 1000 people, with a total of 139,000 resignations out of a population of 4,518,031
  • The industry with the highest average resignation rate is accommodation and food, with nearly double the average resignation rate seen across all industries
  • Leisure and hospitality come in second, while retail comes in third on the list

Workforce management platform TimeForge analyzed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to determine the rate of resignations across all major industries and in each state across the US.

Top 10 states with the highest resignation rate 

State Total resignations Population Resignation rate per 1000 people
Alaska 25,000 732,984 34
Wyoming 20,000 583,279 34
Georgia 366,000 11,037,723 33
Louisiana 145,000 4,553,384 32
Kentucky 139,000 4,518,031 31
Arkansas 92,000 3,063,152 30
Montana 34,000 1,139,507 30
Tennessee 215,000 7,134,327 30
Colorado 168,000 5,868,555 29
Delaware 30,000 1,031,985 29

Kentucky has a resignation rate of 31 per 1000 people, with 139,000 resignations out of a population of 4,518,031. According to the data, Alaska and Wyoming have the highest resignation rates of 34, almost a third higher than the average. With a resignation rate of 33 per 1,000 people and a total of 366,000 resignations in 2023, Georgia comes in third place. Louisiana follows closely with a resignation rate of 32 per 1,000 people. Louisiana has a population of approximately 4.5 million people.

Other states with relatively high resignation rates include Arkansas, Montana, Tennessee, Colorado, and Delaware. These states have resignation rates ranging from 29 to 30 per 1,000 people.

Top 10 industries with the highest average resignation rate 

Industry Total Resignations 2023 Avg Resignation Rate 2023
Accommodation and food services 2,246,000 5.3
Leisure and hospitality 2,470,000 5
Retail trade 1,713,000 3.7
Trade, transportation, and utilities 2,684,000 3.1
Arts, entertainment, and recreation 224,000 3.1
Transportation, warehousing, and utilities 656,000 3
Nondurable goods 389,000 2.7
Professional and business services 1,861,000 2.7
Health care and social assistance 1,677,000 2.6
Mining and logging 48,000 2.5

The average resignation rate is the number of quits during the year as a percentage of total employment.

The hospitality industry, encompassing hotels and restaurants, tops the list for the highest average resignation rate at 5.3, nearly double the average rate across all industries, with 2,246,000 total resignations. Meanwhile, the leisure and hospitality industry, which offers recreational activities like amusement parks, casinos, and sports clubs, is behind at 5.0 and 2,470,000 resignations in 2023.

Coming in third on the list is the retail trade industry, with an average resignation rate of 3.7. This industry includes a range of businesses, from brick-and-mortar stores to online retailers, that sell products directly to consumers; it saw 1,713,000 workers resign this year.

The trade, transportation, and utilities industry is fourth on the list, with an average resignation rate of 3.1 and 2,684,000 resignations. This industry involves the movement of goods and people, with companies such as trucking firms, airlines, and utility providers among its ranks.

The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector is tied with the trade, transportation, and utilities industry, with an average resignation rate of 3.1. This industry encompasses creative and cultural activities such as museums, theaters, and performing arts centers.

A spokesperson for TimeForge commented on the findings, “We recognize that the high rate of resignations across various industries and states is a significant concern for many organizations. This trend in resignations is resulting in significant costs for businesses, with a cumulative expenditure of $210,450,000,000 for US companies, taking into account the total of 21,045,000 resignations across industries and a conservative estimated cost of $10,000 per person for training and recruitment.”

They continued, “We are dedicated to fighting against this unsettling trend by providing powerful workforce management tools that can help address the underlying causes of employee turnover.”

TimeForge is a cloud-based software company that provides labor management and scheduling solutions for businesses in various industries, such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, and food service. Their software helps businesses streamline employee scheduling, manage time and attendance, and optimize labor costs.

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