Rise in UK workers seeking to change jobs

06 Jun 2024

New research out this week has revealed 27% of UK workers are planning to change jobs over the next six months. And it would appear that the figures are rising.

The Employer Brand Research 2024 report by Randstad polled 12,000 people in Britain aged from 18 to retirement age. This time last year, just 24% were planning to switch jobs within the next six months, with just 22% in 2022 and 19% in 2021.

That said, in contrast, 26% said they were planning to change jobs in January 2020, exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

The research also shows that in the six months to January this year, 19% of workers changed jobs, compared to 12% in January 2021, People Management reports.

“Crazy time”

According to Simon Roderick, managing director of Fram Search, “jobseekers, like employers, have been on a roller coaster since the pandemic struck”, going on to say it’s been a “crazy time” and “unprecedented”.

“During the initial stages of lockdowns people were simply happy to have a job, then there was a hiring boom and many received huge pay increases when changing firms. Then the perfect storm of geopolitical events and high interest rates made people nervous about seeking new employment in 2023,” he stated. “It’s no surprise to me that more people are planning to change roles as conditions normalise – there’s a lot of pent-up frustration. In the low-growth, high-tax economy we have, individuals are growing faster than their companies.”

Reasons to change jobs

The major reasons cited by those polled for leaving their job were to achieve a better work-life balance, according to 41% of respondents, followed by 24% stating a lack of career opportunities was the key motive. Additionally, 22% said their interest in their current role had waned, whilst 20% cited a lack of flexible working options.

Consequently, when selecting a new job, 60% of candidates prioritised a good work-life balance, whilst 58% said an attractive salary and benefits package was their main priority. In addition, 53% said they were seeking greater job security and 52% were looking for improved training in a new job.

According to Mandy Watson, founder and director of Ambitions Personnel: “As the cost-of-living crisis looks set to continue post pandemic, we expect a trend towards benefits that can make pay packets go further – such as discounts on food shopping or other essentials, as opposed to those focused more on the luxury or 'nice to have' end of the spectrum.”