Australians are changing jobs at the fastest rate since the beginning of the pandemic, new data suggests

Australians are changing jobs at the fastest rate since the beginning of the pandemic, new data suggests
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  • New data from LinkedIn suggests Australian workers are on the move, but they’re unlikely to be following their US counterparts toward a ‘Great Resignation.’
  • Instead, employees are moving on to new jobs at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic.
  • Six in 10 prospective job seekers said they were primarily motivated to leave because they hadn’t seen a pay rise since the start of the pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Australians aren’t following their US counterparts toward a ‘Great Resignation’, new data from LinkedIn suggests. Nor are they bowing out of the workforce altogether.

But many of them are moving on. Employees are transitioning to new jobs at the fastest pace since the start of the pandemic, the data shows. The number of workers changing jobs was up 26% in October compared with the same month in 2019. 

Additionally, the research revealed that men and women changed companies at the same rate, as NSW and Victoria saw restrictions ease and emerged from months of lockdowns. 

The surge in job changes follows markedly low levels of employee turnover during the pandemic. Over the past two years, Australia experienced the lowest employee turnover since the ABS began tracking labour mobility. 

LinkedIn’s figures also suggested job seekers could have the upper hand in negotiations, with the number of applications per job down 63% compared to the same period last year.

Jenny Lambert, the director of economics, employment and skills at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said earlier this month that a “worker market” was emerging, where staff were better placed to set terms with their employer.

The data follows an upheaval in the jobs markets of the UK and the US, as exhausted workers reevaluate their relationships with their job after a gruelling two years of working from home.

A record 4.4 million Americans quit in September this year, amounting to 3% of workers and following almost six months since a surge of resignations hit the labour market. 

Reflecting the desperate situation for employers, there was a three million figure difference between the number of job openings and the number of unemployed people. In August, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the number of unemployed people in the US in August, with 10.4 million open jobs and 7.4 million unemployed.

In contrast the ABS recorded a markedly smaller gap, with 333,700 job vacancies and 707,300 unemployed and under-employed people in August.

The insights from LinkedIn follow months of uncertainty around the health of the Australian jobs market as the country reopened, and amid a massive injection of stimulus into the NSW and Victorian economies to fuel the economic recovery. 

In September Business Insider Australia reported on employment survey data that suggested 40% of Australian workers said they planned to look for a new job within the next six months. 

Of these, 15% said they were already actively looking to leave their current employer.

Data from HR platform Employment Hero showed that six in 10 prospective job seekers said they were primarily motivated to leave because they hadn’t seen a pay rise since the start of the pandemic, with an absence of career opportunities following closely behind as a reason for leaving. 

One in three workers expect they’ll bank a 10% raise if they change jobs, while around one in four are demanding a 20% jump, according to Employment Hero’s survey. 

With wage growth remaining stagnant — the RBA indicated in October increases were unlikely in the short-term — a job swap appears to be appealing to many as the most likely route to a pay bump in 2021. 

“Recent lockdowns and earlier reports of labour shortages had not appeared to affect most firms’ expectations for wages growth, which were generally returning to around pre-pandemic norms,” the RBA said.