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Hiring freezes and layoffs are on the rise as an uncertain economy forces major players in the tech, auto, media and food industries to make unprecedented cuts. But now, new data shows that nearly half of workers want to quit anyway.

Even with growing concerns about a potential recession, 46% of professionals are already looking to find a new job in the first half of the new year, according to a recent survey by business consulting firm Robert Half. That’s up from 41% six months ago, according to the company’s biannual job optimism survey.

The exterior of The Spheres can be seen at Amazon.com Inc.’s headquarters on May 20, 2021 in Seattle, Washington and current CEO Andy Jassy (Photos by David Ryder/Getty Images and Mike Blake/Reuters) ((Photos by David Ryder/Getty Images and Mike Blake/Reuters) / Reuters Photos)

They were Amazon, Apple, Meta Platforms, Lyft and Twitter among technology companies announcing hiring freezes or layoffs in recent months. In fact, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told employees in a memo that the cuts would continue into 2023.

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The media industry has also been hit hard recently, with hundreds of industry workers laid off in recent weeks, including those who worked at BuzzFeed, CNN and Gannett, the company that owns dozens of local media outlets and USA Today. : Digital media company BuzzFeed, one of the latest media companies to cut its workforce, says it is trying to weather an “economic downturn” it says will last until 2023.

Meta:

Meta’s corporate headquarters are located in Menlo Park, California on November 9, 2022. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

DoorDash and PepsiCo also eliminated jobs, in addition to multinational automaker Stellantis announcing that it is closing an assembly plant in Illinois indefinitely.

However, 60% of the workforce aged 18-25 who were surveyed said they were likely to jump ship.

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A number of HR professionals and employees who have been with their company for two to four years are in the same boat, with 58% and 55% of employees respectively wanting to move on.

Just over half of working parents are also likely to make changes in the first half of the new year, the survey found.

“In some companies, the noise about hiring freezes and layoffs doesn’t seem to bother the employees. many are as confident about their job prospects as they were six months ago,” said Paul McDonald, senior managing director at Robert Half. .

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Two Amazon delivery vans on November 15, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Alejandro Martinez Velez/Europe Press via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Given the tight labor market, workers are “interested in exploring new and more fulfilling career paths,” McDonald added.

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More than 60% of people say they are looking for a higher salary, while 37% say better benefits and perks are the driving factors. In addition, 36% say they want more flexibility in choosing when and where they work.

The data also showed that four in 10 workers said they would consider returning to their previous employers if their salary matched or exceeded their current salary.

The survey found that three out of 10 employees are even considering signing a full-time contract.

A separate report from Intuit QuickBooks also revealed how the current turbulent economic environment, with high inflation and high interest rates, is motivating Americans to start their own businesses.

In fact, business formation soared to “a historically high level in 2022,” according to an Intuit QuickBooks report.

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