Human Capital & Careers

Good Economy Sparks Employee Revenge

More than 75 percent of workers are currently looking for new jobs, according to a new survey.
Stephen TaubDecember 19, 2006

What a difference a strong economy makes. After several years of economic growth and a declining unemployment rate, workers are once again feeling confident about leaving jobs they don’t like.

More than 75 percent of employees are currently looking for new jobs, according to an annual survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and The Wall Street Journal’s CareerJournal.com. This year they polled 462 employees and 367 HR professionals.

According to the HR pros, on average, 12 percent of their organizations’ workforce had voluntarily resigned since the beginning of 2006. Non-management employees were the most likely to resign, according to 71 percent of the HR professionals surveyed.

The biggest reasons people are leaving: Better pay elsewhere (30 percent of employees, 40 percent of HR professionals); career opportunities elsewhere (27 percent of employees, 48 percent of HR professionals); and dissatisfaction with the potential for career development (21 percent of employees, 29 percent of HR professionals).

The employee departures are worrisome to the HR pros. Seventy-three percent of the HR professionals said that they were concerned about the voluntary resignations at their organizations. Further, nearly half of the HR pros said their organizations had implemented special retention processes.

Which retention methods seem to be the most effective? Promoting qualified employees, offering competitive merit increases/salary adjustments, and providing career-development opportunities, the HR respondents think.

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