New data shows the real damage of the Great Resignation as nearly a third of Australian businesses struggle to find workers to fill rosters.
New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows the real damage of the Great Resignation on businesses.
On Thursday, the ABS released new data which revealed that 31% of businesses surveyed in June were struggling to find staff.
Hospitality places find it even more difficult to recruit workers (51% report having difficulties), and it becomes even more difficult for large companies – 66% of large companies had problems recruiting, 62% of average height.
Small businesses employing less than 20 people fare slightly better than average, with 29% reporting difficulty recruiting workers.
Nearly 8 out of 10 companies (79%) say they do not have enough candidates on job postings. And of those who apply, 59% of companies say applicants don’t have the right skills or qualifications.
Wages and working conditions were the top recruiting issues, with 26% of companies citing them as concerns. Slightly fewer companies (24%) indicated that the workplace was a recruitment issue.
The alarming statistics come despite an unemployment rate of 3.9%, the lowest in 48 years.
CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said 644,300 Australians had changed jobs or sought a new position, seeking more fulfilling, better paid or more flexible working conditions in May. This is just below the November 2021 record of 709,500.
“The data suggests that Australia’s own version of the ‘big quit’ is well underway, with the pandemic likely contributing to a shift in worker behaviors and preferences,” he said.
The big quit trend swept across the United States in early 2021 as employees ditched their jobs en masse for greener pastures after a heartbreaking pandemic year.
Nearly 48 million people in the United States left their jobs in 2021, according to the US Department of Labor. And in January of this year, nearly 4.3 million people quit their jobs.
The ABS Quarterly Labor Force Statistics from February 2022 revealed that Australia’s national turnover rate (“dropout rate”) has risen to 9.5% over the past year, its highest level since 2012.
The data revealed 1.3 million people (9.5% of the labor force) changed jobs2.1 million people left or lost a job, and 5.2% of employed people said they expected to change jobs in the next 12 months.
The Great Resignation is so strong that it even inspired Beyoncé is going to write a song to quit smoking, sleep more and find new inspiration.
The latest ABS survey also found that employers were doing what they could to entice candidates to fill their lists, and that larger employers were more willing (and able) to do more to attract new employees.
Almost half (49%) of large and medium-sized businesses said they would be more likely to offer pay raises to attract candidates, while only 29% of small businesses would do the same.
And although more than a third (34%) of companies said they would let staff work remotely, 71% of large companies that employ 200 or more people did so.
The fact that the employment figures look rather good at the ABS compared to the worrying corporate reports does not suggest a mass exodus of workers, but a radical refusal to working in jobs that don’t make us happy or that don’t fit our lifestyles.
Exactly what that means in the long run remains to be seen, but the Great Resignation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Perhaps employers need to go back to the recruiting drawing board and come up with new ideas.
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