UK workers are growing more willing to change their career

The latest recruitment figures have revealed that Britain’s workers are becoming increasingly willing to hand in their notice and change their career. While recent years have seen employees stay in their jobs regardless of whether they’re happy or not, the end to the financial crisis has seen the UK witness very strong employment growth and people are therefore more willing to take chances with their careers.

During the recession, the number of people who moved from employer to employer plunged by about a third down to 480,000. This number remained very low until 2012 and it’s thought that this could be one of the explanations for the country’s poor productivity and wage performance at the time.

Michael Saunders, an Economist at Citi commented:

“Reduced labour mobility may have contributed to the weakness of productivity growth and pay growth in recent years given that a key driver for aggregate productivity growth is the reallocation of resources out of firms and sectors with relatively low productivity and pay levels and into firms and sectors with higher levels of pay and productivity.”

Experts have said that people change their job for a number of reasons but the proportion of those who do it voluntarily is the most important figure. This is because voluntary resignations are a good indication of employee confidence in the market and when staff are feeling confident, they are more likely to demand pay rises.

The number of people in the UK who are willing to leave their job for another or even to completely change careers has been rising quickly since 2012 and is now approaching pre-crisis levels. This is a big change from when the recession was in full swing and the number of people switching to a new industry took a big tumble.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the jobs market at the time, workers were incredibly reluctant to risk a new career and employers were less than willing to hire people who did not have sector-specific experience. As the moves between industries are now recovering however, it suggests that risk aversion is ebbing and the labour market is well and truly recovering.

Traditionally, the number of people working their way up the career ladder outstrips those who move down. During 2010 and 2012 however, moves in both directions became less common and the gap between the two dramatically narrowed.

In the last two years however this gap has widened to pre-crisis levels which is another good sign that the market is healing and employees are once again willing and able to switch employers in order to improve their careers and work somewhere they will be more productive.

Have you become more willing to change jobs or careers in recent years or do you worry that employees still don’t have enough control to call the shots? Feel free to let us know your thoughts on our Twitter or LinkedIn page.

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