More than one in five Canadian workers are considering leaving their jobs, according to a new survey.
The July mental health index report from Telus Health, formerly known as LifeWorks, found that 21 per cent of Canadians are considering leaving their current positions.
The data shows that individuals contemplating leaving their jobs had a mental health score of 56.3, which is 13 points lower than workers who are not considering leaving their current positions (69.3), and nine points lower than the national average of 65.2.
One positive finding of the survey was that the mental health of workers in Canada improved in July by more than a half point from the prior month after no changes for three months.
The survey also reveals insights into the mental health of different groups within the workforce. For instance, workers under the age of 40 are 60 per cent more likely to consider leaving their jobs compared to workers aged 50 and over. Additionally, workers under 40 are twice as likely as their older counterparts to have experienced a job change in the past year.
When respondents were asked why they were considering a job change, several reasons emerged. The most commonly cited reason was the pursuit of better career opportunities, with 20 per cent of respondents expressing this ambition.
Following closely behind were those seeking improved benefits (12 per cent) and individuals contemplating retirement (11 per cent).
Another 11 per cent were driven by a general desire or need for change, while 10 per cent reported a dislike for their current job.
Feeling underappreciated at work was a concern for nine per cent of respondents.
Additionally, seven per cent mentioned other, unspecified reasons, and six per cent attributed their desire for a job change to increased mental stress or strain in their current workplace.
A smaller percentage expressed dissatisfaction with their managers (five per cent), noted changes in their health (five per cent), cited caregiving responsibilities (three per cent), or attributed their decision to increased mental stress or strain at home (two per cent).
The data highlights significant variations in average mental health scores based on the reasons respondents cited for seeking a job change. For instance, those who mentioned health-related issues as their motivation reported the lowest average mental-health score at 43.7. Meanwhile, individuals who cited retirement as their reason for leaving their jobs achieved the highest average score, which was 73.3.
According to the survey, 35 per cent of managers experienced increased turnover in the past year. This group of managers reported an average mental-health score of 61.7 — nearly 10 points lower than managers who have not experienced increased turnover (71.4).
When examining the data on a regional basis for July 2023, mental health scores have shown a decline in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, the Maritimes, and British Columbia when compared to the scores from June 2023. Conversely, mental health scores in other provinces have improved during the same period. The greatest improvement in mental health was reported in Alberta, up nearly two points from the previous month.
Newfoundland and Labrador has seen a significant decline of 4.3 points in its mental health score, leading to the province having the lowest mental health score of 62.2 in July 2023.
Data for this report was collected through an online survey of 3,000 people who live in Canada and are currently employed or who were employed within the prior six months. Participants were selected to be representative of the age, gender, industry and geographic distribution in Canada. Respondents were asked to consider the prior two weeks when answering each question.
The survey was conducted between July 8 and July 26, 2023.
Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta.