Unemployment, Job Satisfaction and Employee Turnover: A Meta-Analytic Test of the Muchinsky Model

Document Type


Publication Date



We conducted a meta-analysis to determine the relation between satisfaction–turnover correlations across studies and unemployment rates at the time those studies were conducted. On the basis of theoretical work by Muchinsky and Morrow (1980), we hypothesized that low relations would be found in studies conducted during times of high unemployment and limited employment opportunity, and high relations would be found in studies conducted during times of low unemployment and expanded opportunity. Results supported the hypothesis; correlations were found that ranged from –.18 to –.52 between unemployment rates and the magnitude of satisfaction–turnover relations across studies. A similar analysis was conducted for the relation between intention to quit and turnover. The correlations between the intention–turnover relation and unemployment were similar in magnitude to the corresponding satisfaction correlations, indicating that the behavioral-intention–turnover relation is also moderated by economic alternatives. Severe methodological problems with a similar study, which indicated the opposite results.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Applied Psychology, v. 72, issue 3, p. 374-381