The UK’s job hopping habits

Iwona Polog reveals the reasons driving people to leave their jobs.

Reading time: 4 minutes

The UK job market is constantly evolving, with new technologies, generations and working styles transforming the way we view our careers and the workplace.

One of the rising trends that has become increasingly accepted is job hopping, with more people doing this in order to fulfil their professional careers.

But how often is the UK really jumping from job to job, and what are the key reasons driving people in the UK to leave their current employment positions?

Money remains the top reason people leave their jobs:

Top reasons people leave

Percentage (%)

Low Pay


Too Much Stress


Disliking Management


Lack Of Opportunity


No Work/Life Balance


It is immensely important that employers understand the key reasons their employees would be tempted to leave their current job role, as having this knowledge will help managers and companies work on preventing this happening as much as possible.

Unsurprisingly, the top reason people in the UK are leaving their jobs is due to low pay, with up to 22.8% leaving their jobs for this reason.

HR has the highest percentage of employees leaving their jobs because of low pay

Interestingly over one in four women leave their jobs because of low pay compared to males, which is one in five.

With the gender pay gap being given increasing attention over the last few years, the results reflect the work that still needs to be done to improve women’s pay and gender equality in the workplace.

When looking into different industries, it is HR that has the highest percentage of employees leaving their jobs because of low pay, at 40%.

Sales comes in at second with 37.5%. In addition, 35-44-year-olds are the most likely generation to leave their job for this reason at 29.7%.

With people in this age-group likely to be well into their careers and feeling more confident in the work they are performing, it is less surprising that issues such as pay are a key factor for leaving their current employment

Other than low pay, what are the main reasons people are leaving their jobs?

Other than not being paid enough money, the next top reason driving people out of their jobs is stress, with 16% of people in the UK leaving because of this.

According to a UK survey, a whopping 59% of people in the UK admitted that work is the biggest cause of stress with just  9% of people reporting that they had never felt stressed at work. 

From excessive workloads, to long and draining commutes, stress can manifest itself in the workplace for a variety of different reasons, with the extent of its impact varying significantly between each person.

It is greatly important for managers and employers to keep an eye on employee stress levels, as not only can it cause individuals to feel deflated, uninspired and undervalued, it can also reduce productivity, increase the number of sick days taken, and ultimately see an employee walk away from a company.

In order to keep on top of maintaining positive mental health in the workplace, employers are advised to ensure line managers and all staff are informed and trained appropriately on the importance of wellbeing at work, and to establish an approach on how to manage this to ensure all employees are feeling good whilst at work.

According to the AppJobs survey, women are more likely to leave their role due to stress with 17.9% admitting to this, compared to 13.1% of men.

The most stressed industry sits with Arts & Culture, with over 20% (22.7%) of people leaving their jobs because of this issue.

This figure is likely to emerge from the competitive nature within the industry, with many striving artists around the world working towards getting their big break.

Millennial job hopping

Other reasons that see over one in 10 employees leave their current places of work include disliking management (11.7%), lack of opportunity (11.2%) and no work/life balance (10.9%).

Interestingly, the younger generation (16-24-year-olds) are the most likely to leave their jobs due to lack of opportunity.


These results emphasise the importance of managers acknowledging that younger employees will be keen to learn, progress and drive forward their knowledge and experience in an industry and that, if not fulfilled, there is a probability they will leave.

The job hopping habits of millennials is a sign of attitudes towards job hopping shifting significantly in the world of work.

Our survey results reveal 16% of millennials have had over 10 jobs since they started their working career. This percentage closely matches up to their predecessors with 18.68% of people aged 35 and over having had over 10 jobs throughout their working careers.

For employers, it’s important to take notice of this change and reconsider the ways to ensure employee retention is the best it can possibly be.

How will the UK’s job hopping habits look in the next 10 years?


About the author:

Iwona Polog is head of growth at AppJobs


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