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Survey: more turnover, out-of-state workers at Massachusetts companies

(Alistair Berg/Getty Images)
(Alistair Berg/Getty Images)
This article is more than 1 year old.

A new survey from the Massachusetts Business Roundtable found more Massachusetts companies are struggling with high turnover.

The Roundtable -- which includes CEOs and senior executives from the biggest  employers in the Commonwealth — surveyed 51 of its members.

Around half of respondents said they're experiencing higher than usual attrition, particularly at the entry and manager levels.

"Turnover is the highest I’ve ever seen it in my entire career," said one member. "It spans across all tenures and job types at our organization."

"We are losing people to industries we never had to compete with before," said another respondent.

Lauren Jones, the executive vice president of the Roundtable, said employers are offering more flexible hours, higher salaries and access to wellness programs in order to attract and retain workers. But to stay competitive, she adds, there will have to be changes on a policy level.

"That includes affordable housing. It includes access to affordable child care services and so much more that keeps people in a place where they can be successful," she said.

The survey also found that more Massachusetts companies have out-of-state employees compared to just a couple of years ago. The number of employers with more than 10% of employees working outside of Massachusetts has more than doubled since the pandemic began. As of now, 26% of the companies surveyed fall into that category. That number is expected to grow.

“As talent becomes increasingly mobile, Massachusetts is at an inflection point,” said JD Chesloff, president and CEO of the Roundtable, in a press release. "We have an opportunity to pivot from ‘the Great Attrition’ to ‘the Great Attraction.' "

If more employees opt to live outside of Massachusetts, the state could lose out on  tax revenue. Jones also worries about the state's reputation for hosting top talent.

"If more talent were to leave Massachusetts, it is a threat to our competitiveness," Jones said. "[It's] what makes us stand out as a global, innovative hub."


Yasmin Amer Reporter
Yasmin Amer is a business reporter for WBUR.



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