More Than Two-Thirds of Workers Seeking New Employment in 2013

A recently published study by Right Management finds that, for the fourth year, the majority of U.S. and Canadian workers intend to pursue new employment during 2013. Eighty-six percent of employees polled stated their intentions to actively look for a new position outiside their current firm during 2013. Eight percent indicated they may do so and are already actively networking in pursuit of finding their next job.

So, what are the reasons behind this significant job dissatisfaction? According to Owen J. Sullivan, Right Management CEO and President of ManpowerGroup Specialty Brands. “The constant drumbeat of downsizing coupled with the expectation to do more with less has put an added amount of stress on workers.  Ongoing economic uncertainty and volatility around job growth and job security have warranted the exploration of new positions.  This kind of frustration may not be unusual, even in a strong job market. But the levels of discontent we’re now finding have to be without precedent.”

Employers would do well to carefully study these trends. Sullivan sees them as a barometer of sorts regarding employee satisfaction and job commitment.  “Now that we have a few years of consistent longitudinal data, we’re confident that our data are reliable. What we’re finding is what behavioral psychologists call ‘flight cognition,’ a wish to depart a situation, not necessarily an indicator of actual employee turnover. Nevertheless, when more than four-out-of- five workers seem so unhappy it ought to concern top management.”

That can mean unhappy employees contemplating leaving, but instead stick around, which can have serious negative consequences on performance. Sullivan recommends that managers be proactive when it comes to retaining top performers. “Don’t wait. Have open and transparent conversations about the realities of the business to allay any fears and uncertainties.”

Do you plan to pursue new job opportunities in 2013?






Yes, I intend to actively seek a new position.





Maybe, so I’m networking.





Not likely, but I’ve updated my resume.





No, I intend to stay in current position.






Right Management surveyed 760 employees in the U.S. and Canada via an online poll that ran from October 15 to 
November 15, 2012.