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According to a new survey by the employment company Manpower earlier this month, 84% of North American workers plan to actively look for a new job in 2011. This is up from a 60% response in 2009.
According to Douglas J. Matthews, president and CEO of Right Management, a Manpower company, the results are "more about employee dissatisfaction and discontent than projected turnover."
Matthews believes that the results are, in part, an expression of employee distrust in the ability of their organizations to thrive in the new economic climate.
This could also reflect pent-up demand for advancement that has been thwarted by the recession and accompanying job malaise.
Matthews sees the survey results as a wake-up call for companies that depend on key employees to take actions to retain them.
According to the most recent findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October of 2010, the separation rate for non-farming jobs for the month, 3.1%, was down only slightly from 3.2% in October of 2009. Of these, 49% quit their jobs; the rest were laid off or let go.
New hires for the month were at 3.2%, while job openings were up from 2.5 million in October of 2009 to 3.4 million.
Given the slow growth in job openings, it won't be possible for 84% of the workers to jump to new jobs next year unless the entire employment market functions like a game of musical chairs. The more reasonable expectation is that employee frustration with their current job will increase.