U.S. employers saw a 41 per cent spike in voluntary employee departures in 2022, according to a new survey by Aon.

The survey, which polled 2,000 employers in the U.S., found nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of employees left their jobs last year, 17 per cent of which were voluntary departures. In 2020, a similar percentage (20 per cent) of workers left their employers, 12 per cent of which were voluntary.

In 2022, average budgeted salary increases, including merit raises and promotions, reached just 5.2 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent the previous year. Notably, 40 per cent of respondents said they plan to hire aggressively this year, while nearly half (46 per cent) said they plan to hire at a normal pace, 13 per cent are planning to be very selective in their hiring efforts and one per cent will institute a hiring freeze.

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“The spike we’ve seen in voluntary departures quantifies the challenges employers face during this period we call the ‘Great Resignation,'” said Michael Burke, chief executive officer of human capital solutions at Aon, in a press release.

“Employers must look to the underlying root cause and not merely treat the symptoms. They’ll need to review total rewards strategies and look at resilience, agility, well-being and purpose in order to retain and attract top talent in their respective industries. A tight labour market will continue to challenge employers in the near term.”

Read: Salaries in U.S. set to rise 3.4% in 2022 amid ‘Great Resignation:’ survey