Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Take this job and shove it

As counter-intuitive as it seems, more workers are quitting their jobs amid this Great Recession.

An article in the Wall Street Journal says that "In February, the number of employees voluntarily quitting surpassed the number being fired or discharged for the first time since October 2008, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics."

And it could get worse, the story says:

"Recent sentiment indicates that the number of employees quitting could continue to grow in the coming months. In a poll conducted by human-resources consultant Right Management at the end of 2009, 60% of workers said they intended to leave their jobs when the market got better. " 'The research is fairly alarming,' " says Michael Haid, senior vice president of global solutions for Right Management. " 'The churn for companies could be very costly.' "

While it is obvious that the job market is improving leading to some defections, the major culprit seems to be worker unrest.

According to the Journal: "Another factor making it harder for companies to retain employees is the effect of the heavy cost-cutting and downsizing during the downturn on workers' morale. A survey conducted last summer for the Conference Board, a management research organization, found that the drivers of the drop in job fulfillment included less satisfaction with wages and less interest in work. In 2009, 34.6% of workers were satisfied with their wages, down more than seven percentage points from 1987. About 51% in 2009 said they were interested in work, down 19 percentage points from 1987."

During the Great Recession, companies cut workers' pay while increasing their workload. It doesn't take a bottle-rocket scientist to see workers get angry when they notice the top brass getting bonuses and new cars while the grunts get the shaft.

It's all part of the populist revolt that corporate America is trying to manage, but may find it exceeding their grasp.

Corporate media tries to place all the blame on government. While government deserves some blame, the vast majority of fault rests on Wall Street, which destroyed not only our economy, but much of the world's as well. The average Joe (not the plumber) doesn't understand derivatives and credit-default swaps. Heck, he doesn't even understand his own cell phone bill.

But, as corporate America shifts more jobs overseas to places like the always-stable Pakistan as TRG did in Bend, worker anger can only grow.

That angst should be directed at Wall Street, where a true revolution needs to take place.

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