Fewer people move to new jobs

22/10/2009 15:00

The proportion of employees moving to new jobs is declining. From the first to the second quarter of this year, 2.4 percent of employees accepted new jobs, as against 3.2 percent in the same period last year. Job mobility in the male labour force fell more rapidly than in the female labour force.

Relation between job mobility and the prevailing economic situation

Mobility of employees is strongly related to the economic situation. Early 2005, the job mobility rate was only 1.8 percent. Subsequently, the labour market grew tighter and the job mobility rate increased markedly to 3.2 percent early 2008. This means that 200 thousand employees switched to new jobs between the first and second quarter. In the first six months of 2009, the job mobility rate plummeted.

Mobility of employees and unemployment

Mobility of employees and unemployment

Most substantial reduction among men

The mobility rate in the male labour force dropped more rapidly than in the female labour force. In the first quarter of 2008, the mobility rates among men and women were 3.4 and 3.0 percent respectively. In the first quarter of 2009, the rate was 2.4 percent for both genders. The relatively sharp decline among men is caused by the fact that men more often work in cyclically sensitive areas like manufacturing industry. 

Mobility of employees between the 1st and 2nd quarter, by gender

Mobility of employees between the 1st and 2nd quarter, by gender

Job hoppers mostly young

Job mobility is lower among older employees. Only 0.6 percent of employees over the age of 55 switched to new jobs from the first to the second quarter of 2009, as opposed to 5.4 percent of 15 to 25-year-olds. The differences between older and younger employees with respect to moving to new jobs are partly due to differences in their employment contracts. Older employees less frequently work flexible hours than younger employees.

Mobility of employees between the 1st and 2nd quarter by age

Mobility of employees between the 1st and 2nd quarter by age

Wendy Smits and Robert de Vries