Swinging labor market: RTO mandates shake up employee leverage across U.S.

graph of the U.S. office labor market comparing discharge ratios to determine employee leverage from 2000 to 2023
  • The office worker quits-to-layoffs and discharges ratio measures how much sway employees have relative to their employers; the higher the ratio, the greater the employee leverage.
  • Post COVID, this figure jumped to 3.1—the highest in recent history—creating a very employee-friendly labor market.
  • In recent months, employee leverage has all but disappeared, with the ratio plummeting to its lowest value since January 2023—potentially due to increased return-to-office efforts across the U.S.

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