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New Job & Employee Retention Statistics UK 2021

Published date: 20/08/2021 15:15

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New Job & Employee Retention Statistics

Our jobs tend to be a bit like marmite... We either love 'em and can’t wait to progress further in our field, or we HATE 'em and can’t wait to get the hell out of there! But just how many people in the UK hate their jobs? And why do so many people make the big decision to change careers? 

To find out, we dive deep into the world of new jobs and employee retention, discovering everything there is to know about what we think of our jobs and bosses in 2021 and which parts of the UK are most eager for a change in career. 

New Job Statistics: The Run Down


Want to find out the latest facts and figures on the topic of career changes in the UK but don’t have time to scroll all the way through? Don’t worry! We’ve summed up our key findings:

  • 60% of UK adults describe their bosses in a positive light. Whilst 19% describe them in a negative way and 21% have fairly neutral opinions towards them.
  • The adjective people in the UK use the most when describing their bosses is “great”.
  • Whilst the word used most frequently to describe them in a negative way is “annoying”.
  • People in Walsall search for “Jobs Near Me” online the most, with 37.7% of the population of Walsall searching this term*.


How Many People in the UK Hate Their Bosses in 2021?

We conducted a survey using Censuswide to ask 2,000 UK adults to complete the following sentence: “My Boss Is…”

This provided us with a variety of interesting responses ranging from very positive to very negative - and everything in between! The survey found that:

  • 1 in 5 UK adults describes their boss in a negative way (19.3%).
  • The majority of Brits however (59.9%) have something positive to say about their bosses.
  • Whilst 20.8% have fairly neutral attitudes towards them.

Categorised survey responses to the open ended question: “My Boss Is…”.

What Do We Say About Our Bosses Behind Their Backs?


It's not just post-it notes that say "kick me", oh no... Our survey found that disgruntled employees in the UK really don’t pull any punches when it comes to their bosses! The following chart shows which words we use most frequently when describing our bosses in a negative way. (If my boss is reading this then I'm sorry, I only called you a prat once!)

Most frequently used negative adjectives when completing the statement ‘My boss is…”


  • The most frequently used adjective by UK adults when completing the statement “My boss is…” was “annoying” with 18 occurrences in total.
  • This was then followed by “Idiot'' with 12 usages.
  • With “Strict” and “Pain”, both being used 10 times each.
  • And “Difficult” and “Useless” also being used 4 times each by different individuals.


Many of the most commonly used negative descriptions were based on a bosses ability to perform their job and manage their staff effectively. These included terms such as ‘useless’, ‘difficult’ and ‘non-existent’. 

However, a large proportion of responses were more like insults, focusing on the personality of the individual as opposed to their capabilities as employers or managers. Terms such as ‘annoying’, ‘mean’, rude’ and ‘inconsiderate’ were used frequently, suggesting that many boss-employee quarms could be predominantly interpersonal in nature.

How About Those Who Actually Like Their Bosses?

Yes, they do exist! To all the managers and bosses out there - don’t fret - some of your employees do have positive things to say about you!


Most frequently used positive adjectives when completing the statement ‘My boss is…”

  • The most commonly used word amongst those describing their bosses in a positive way was “Great”, with 69 respondents using this word.
  • Also frequently used were the words “Good” and “Nice” which both occurred 62 times throughout the survey’s responses.
  • This was then followed by “Understanding” and “Amazing” which were found in 40 and 37 responses respectively.

The positive responses were most commonly based on both how pleasant an employee felt their boss was both in general and in the workplace.

In terms of neutral responses, the overwhelming majority used the word “ok” to describe their bosses, with 53 people describing their boss in this way… at least it could be worse, eh?

The *Best* Things People Say About Their Bosses

Some of the ways people described their bosses in our survey were too funny not to mention, so we thought we’d list a few of our personal favourites for your enjoyment! When asked to complete the sentence “My boss is…”, we received the following brilliant responses:
  • “A complete donkey and hasn't got a clue”
  • “A complete and utter fool”
  • “Paying my salary”
  • “Human”
  • “Nearly 80!”
  • “Doing his nails”
  • “Definitely a bit more of a team player than me lol xx I think they're drinking”
  • “Amazing. Today, he bought us cupcakes, just because.”
  • “A diamond”
  • “A middle aged lady with a sweet voice that reminds me of Shirley Bobbins.”


Hot For Our Bosses

We noticed that many of the responses were also based on looks or involved sexuality, with notable comments being “My boss is sexy”, “My boss is cute”, “My boss is a sexy little minx” and “My boss is very handsome and good looking”. Whilst the intention behind these comments is unknown, these responses appear to focus solely on looks rather than their boss’ personality, behavior or professional relationship with themselves.

How Many People in the UK are Looking For a New Job?

So, with 1 in 5 UK adults not having anything nice to say about their bosses, we wondered how many workers are thinking of jumping ship and setting sail in a new direction. To find out, we conducted a keyword analysis using the tool Keyword Finder. Our analysis found that:

  • The term “Jobs Near Me” is searched online 513,000 times per month on average in the UK.
  • That’s 713 searches per hour...
  • ...Or 12 times every minute!

Job Satisfaction Statistics by City

Are job satisfaction rates higher in the big cities? Or are those based in more rural locations happiest with their jobs? To find out, we used Keyword Finder to analyse average monthly searches in each major town and city in England to discover where people are most likely to search for a new job in their area. 

The 10 cities and towns which search for the term ‘Jobs near me’ most frequently are as follows:


Number of Searches Per Every 1,000 People Each Year















West Bromwich




St Helens


Average proportion of online searches for the term ‘Jobs near me’

  • As you can see, people in Walsall search for “Jobs near me” the most, with 377 searches for every 1,000 people each year. This means that over 37% of the population of Walsall search for the term each year*.
  • Walsall is also the 2nd most likely place in the UK to search for “resignation letter template” with 16.4 searches per every 1,000 making it just behind Bedford where there are 16.7 searches per every 1,000 people.
  • Interestingly, the unemployment rate in Walsall is 5.8% which is 1.3% higher than the national average (4.5%).
*It’s important to note that some people may have searched for the term more than once, therefore not every search equates to a different individual in the area. Therefore this figure is just an estimate.

The Top Reasons Why People Quit Their Jobs in 2021

To find out a little more about what motivates UK adults to quit their jobs, we conducted another survey using Censuswide in July 2021, asking 2,000 UK adults: 

Which of the following would cause you to resign from your job? (Tick all that apply)

  • Poor pay 

  • A bad manager 

  • Bullying in the workplace 

  • Nothing would cause me to resign from my job 

  • An opportunity to pursue a dream job somewhere else 

  • Discrimination in the workplace 

  • Not getting on with my colleagues 

  • Long hours 

  • Too big a workload 

  • Feeling incapable of doing the job 

  • Being micromanaged 

  • The commute 

  • Poor holiday allowance 

  • Other (please specify) 

  • Poor maternity and paternity policies

Our survey found that:

  • The biggest factor that would cause people in the UK to quit their jobs is poor pay, with 28.5% of respondents saying this would cause them to resign.
  • The second most popular response was a bad manager, as 28% of respondents said this would cause them to leave their job.
  • Bullying in the workplace was the third leading cause, as 27% say this would be a determining factor in their decision to quit their job.
  • However, around 1 in 4 UK adults appear to love their jobs so much they say nothing would cause them to quit their jobs! (26%)

Top reasons that would cause people to quit their jobs


 Some other main factors that would cause people to quit their job are:

  • An opportunity to pursue a dream job somewhere else which would cause 23% of people to leave their current job.
  • Discrimination in the workplace and not getting along with colleagues would also cause 21% and 19% of UK adults to quit their jobs.
  • Long hours and too big a workload were also reasons many people gave as to why they would quit their jobs (17.5% and 17%).

Other reasons included feeling incapable of doing their job (17%), being micromanaged (12.5%), the commute (12%), poor holiday allowance (10%) and poor maternity and paternity policies (6%).

How Does Gender Affect How Likely We Are to Quit Our Jobs?

Does gender impact the likelihood of certain factors causing us to quit our jobs? Or are we all as likely as each other to quit due to the above reasons? To find out, we analysed men’s and women’s responses to our survey and found that:

  • 1 in 3 women say that bullying in the workplace would cause them to resign from their job (33.3%), whereas just 1 in 5 men (20%) say the same.
  • When provided with the opportunity to pursue their dream job elsewhere, 25.5% of women say they’d leave their current jobs, whereas just 20% of men would do the same.
  • Discrimination in the workplace would also be more likely to cause women to leave their jobs than men, as almost a quarter of women (24.5%) say they’d leave their workplace due to discrimination. Whereas just 18% of men say they’d leave their job for this reason.

New Job Statistics UK 2021

Our survey found that 1 in every 5 Brits are really not fans of their bosses, describing them as being “annoying”, “mean” and simply - “useless”! Also, poor pay, bad management and bullying were cited as the main reasons why UK adults would resign from their jobs, with men being less likely to leave their jobs on the whole than women, particularly when it comes to issues such as bullying and discrimination.

Our investigation also indicated that job satisfaction levels may be lower in areas such as Walsall and Dudley, as more people search for the term ‘Jobs near me’ in these areas than any other parts of the country.

So, what would it take for you to up and leave your job? For those that are brave enough to take the plunge, browse our brilliant selection of Leaving and New Job cards!



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