36% of Employees Hope to Leave Their Job Over the Next 12 Months

Illustration of a wind flagAccording to the 9th annual "Study of Employee Benefits Trends" that was recently released by MetLife, 36% of all employees in the United States hope to be working for a different employer sometime in 2011. According to the report, employee loyalty has been shrinking as of late (59% in 2008, 53% in 2009 and 47% in 2010) and has now reached a new low since the start of the "Great Recession" in December of 2007.

It makes sense - when a recession hits (especially a recession as severe as the "Great Recession"), many employees are just happy to have a job. They hear stories from their friends about how hard it is to find a job in the difficult business climate, and their gratefulness about having a job turns into increasing loyalty to their employer.

However, as the economy and job market both start to improve, this loyalty starts to evaporate. With the national unemployment rate declining and job openings becoming more abundant, many Americans are deciding that they are going to leave the sanctuary of their current jobs over the next year.

According to MetLife, many employers are oblivious to the fact that a large number of their employees may be preparing to bolt for greener pastures. MetLife claims that 51% of employers feel that "employees have a very strong sense of loyalty to the company", which is the highest such number that has been posted over the past three years.

Employers have been focusing mainly on keeping costs low over the past three years in order to cope with a difficult business environment. Many employers believe that the people who have kept their jobs due to these cost controls will continue to remain loyal to the company in an improving economy, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

According to the survey, companies are continuing to place more emphasis on "cost control and cost shifting" and less emphasis on "increasing employee job satisfaction". According to MetLife, this is creating a workforce that is "ready to take flight".


In December of 2007, the national unemployment rate in the United States was 4.7%.

Over the next couple of years, the bottom fell out of the US economy, and the national unemployment rate steadily increased before finally topping out at 10.2% in October of 2009.

This rapid rise in the number of jobless in the country resulted in a large spike in employee loyalty, as those with jobs were happy just to be working.

According to MetLife, this loyalty is rapidly starting to wear off as the economy slowly recovers.

Source: MetLife.com - 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends

Filed under: General Knowledge

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