Americans staying with current job more often than before

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If you are currently employed, chances are you will stay where you’re at.

“Compared to a year ago, more Americans are staying in their current jobs than pursuing new opportunities,” said Denver-based William Wells, senior vice president and general manager of Lee Hecht Harrison, one of the nation’s leading career services companies.

A survey based on the nation’s active workforce said that almost 85 percent of those presently employed plan to remain at their present job, compared with just 80 percent one year ago.

In the second quarter of 2001, the current recession had just begun, so employees probably had fewer concerns about taking a chance on a new opportunity, Wells said. “But today workers are understandably skittish, and those who have jobs aren’t leaving them without careful consideration,” said Wells.

“I suspect that many who did decide to take new posts internally or externally were motivated by the possibility of layoffs at their company.”

While the percentage of people who said they were laid off last quarter (5.8 percent) was only slightly higher than in the same period a year ago (5.0 percent), there was a big jump in those who had not yet found employment, Wells said.

“Last year at this time, just over half of those terminated had landed new jobs within the quarter,” said Wells. “This year about four times as many of those laid off are looking for work – and that’s consistent with what we hear from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and economists – the pace of layoffs has slowed, but job creation and hiring still lag.”

A survey of more than 1,000 adults, 686 whom were employed at the start of the quarter, produced the statistics. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.