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The end of the job for life? – CIPD says not. New research reveals low job turnover might be here to stay


According to a new report on job turnover from the CIPD, the proportion of workers leaving their employer at any given time fell by over two fifths between 1998 and 2012, presenting businesses with challenges in establishing cultures of innovation, but equally allowing for invaluable long-term retention of employee knowledge and skills.

The paper, “Has job turnover slowed down,” published today by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, forms part of CIPD’s Megatrends research project exploring and developing the debate on the economic and social trends that will shape the world of work, the workforce and the culture and organisation of workplaces in the future.

The report presents data from the Office for National Statistics showing that in October-December 2012, 2.6% of employees left their jobs, compared with a figure of 4.5% for the same period in 1998.  Most employees leave their jobs voluntarily (due to resignation, retirement and for other reasons) rather than involuntarily (dismissals and redundancies).  Turnover is highest among young people and lowest among the over 50s.  Since 2008, average job tenure (the average period that people spend in their job) has been increasing.  This is a trend that has been seen in a number of other countries including the USA.