‘Great resignation’ sends UK quit rate to highest since 2009


Brits are quitting their jobs at a rate not seen in over a decade, new data shows, highlighting the struggles companies are facing when it comes to staff.

Sanjay Raja, chief UK economist at Deutsche Bank, said 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”.

The data shows that the so-called “Great Resignation” happening around the world in the wake of the pandemic is not just anecdotal. In the US, where the government produces official data on the so-called ‘quit rate’, a record 4.5 million people resigned in November.

Employers across the UK complain of struggling to both hang on to and recruit staff.  Redundancies in the UK are at their lowest level since the mid-1990s, while the level of open vacancies is the highest on record.

“The UK labour market is as tight as it has ever been in recent memory,” he wrote in a note sent of Deutsche Bank clients. “Indeed, a swathe of metrics all point to one of the hottest labour markets coming out of the pandemic.”

Businesses are using a range of tactics to overcome the staffing issues, everything from more flexible employment terms to higher wages. Around 30 UK businesses are taking part in a six month trial of four day work week later this year and one of the organisers said the policy could help employee retention.

Joe O’Connor of 4 Day Week Global told the Standard: ​​”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.”

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