By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 23 January 2022 • 12:05
Source: Deutsche Bank
Brits are quitting their jobs at a rate not seen for decades, with the number at the highest level in more than a decade. The information comes at a time when many companies are struggling to find the skills they need.
According to Sanjay Raja, Chief UK Economist at Deutsche Bank, the analysis of official data suggests people are resigning at the highest rate since 2009 with “historically elevated levels of workers leaving the labour market entirely.”
According to Raja, the phenomenon is not unique to the UK, with the so-called “Great Resignation” happening around the world in the wake of the pandemic. In the US, where the government produces official data on the so-called ‘quit rate’, a record 4.5 million people resigned in November.
UK employers are struggling to both hang on to and to recruit staff, with redundancies at their lowest level since the mid-1990s. The number of open vacancies is at the same time, the highest on record.
Raja wrote in a note to clients: “The UK labour market is as tight as it has ever been in recent memory. Indeed, a swathe of metrics all point to one of the hottest labour markets coming out of the pandemic.”
Businesses in the UK and elsewhere are resorting to a range of tactics to try and overcome the staffing issues, offering everything from higher wages to more flexible working conditions.
Included in these tactics is a pilot among 30 businesses who are trialling a six month trial four day work week, with one of the organisers saying the policy could help employee retention. According to Joe O’Connor of 4 Day Week Global: ”It reduces sick leave and work burn out and in this time of the great resignation, it will be good for the retention of staff.”
Others are tempting staff away from the industry in which they are employed with offers of starting bonuses and higher wages, all of which concerns some economists as such moves are likely to fuel an already high inflation rate.
For individual companies, it is a case of survival and do what you have to do in a market where Brits are quitting at the highest rate in years.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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