Employer Actions in Recession Has Some Workers Wanting to Bail

January 7, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly one-in-five workers (19%) surveyed by CareerBuilder said they plan to leave their current job in 2010 to find a new one, and 9% said they plan to leave in 2011.

According to a press release, 12% of workers whose companies cut benefits or perks said they would stay at their current jobs for six months or less, while 18% who experienced pay cuts said they are willing to stay at their current job for only six months or less. More than a quarter (27%) of respondents who did not receive a raise or promotion in 2009 said they would leave their current positions in less than a year if they do not receive either.

“Many of the decisions employers made last year were designed to preserve the health of their businesses and many survived because of them,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, in the press release. “In some cases, workers were affected by the cost-cutting measures and job satisfaction levels suffered. For example, 61% of employees said they were satisfied at their jobs last year – down from 70% in 2008.”

Fifty-seven percent of workers did not receive a raise last year, up sharply from 35% in 2008. Of those that did receive raises, 28% were given an increase of 3% or less. Seventy-one percent of workers did not receive a bonus.

To help make ends meet in 2009, 8% of workers took on a second job, and 19% plan to find a second job in 2010 to supplement their main paycheck.

Twenty-eight percent of workers indicated they are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the career advancement opportunities provided by their current employers. Ninety percent of workers did not receive a promotion in 2009, and nearly a quarter (23%) said they felt they were overlooked.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of workers rated their corporate leaders as poor or very poor. Workers cited an inability to address employee morale (35%), not enough transparency (30%), and major changes are made without warning (28%) as their main concerns with senior leadership.

Nearly one-quarter (23%) of workers said they are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their work/life balance – up from 18% who said the same last year. Twenty-six percent of workers are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with training and learning opportunities provided by their current employers.

Twenty percent of workers said they plan to switch careers/fields in the next two years, with the top reasons being to pursue a more interesting line of work (67%), higher pay (54%), more career advancement (41%) and increased stability (36%). To learn new skills, 12% said they will head back to school to make themselves more marketable in the new year.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 5,231 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 5 and November 23, 2009 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions).