Job-hopping on the rise despite slow economy

January 14, 2016, 4:43am

By Ntsakisi Maswanganyi, Business Day Live
Photo: Thinkstock / Business Day Live

THE number of South African employees actively looking to change jobs has increased, despite weak economic growth and retrenchments in the economy, a survey shows.

The survey by insight and technology company CEB was conducted in SA as part of a global survey. In SA, 501 workers were surveyed against a global total of 22,963.

The survey found that more than four in 10 employees in SA were actively looking for other jobs in the third quarter of last year, a 5% increase from the second quarter and 16% higher than the global average.

This is a small glimmer of hope, given that official figures show that the country has a high number of discouraged work-seekers. SA has an unemployment rate of 25%.

Long-term stability, a craving for respect and better health and retirement benefits topped the list of reasons for employees wanting to change jobs, principal executive adviser at CEB, Clare Moncrieff, said.

Employers needed to leverage development opportunities and noncash rewards to motivate and retain staff, she said.

However, the outlook for SA’s labour market this year was bleak, said BNP Paribas Securities economist, Jeff Schultz.

Slowing global and domestic growth and low business confidence would weigh on the profitability of companies and affect negatively their ability to create new jobs.

A government that had promised to "cut the purse strings" on public-sector hiring would only serve to make matters worse, Mr Schultz said.

Among the countries surveyed, SA was the fourth-most proactive in terms of job-seeking behind India, Malaysia and the Philippines, and Indonesia.

South African workers expected an 8% rise in basic salaries and a 6% increase in their bonuses this year, the survey showed, but projected a 17% increase in salaries if they landed a job with a new employer.