IT workers are on the hunt for greener pastures with more than a quarter of those surveyed for NAB saying they had changed jobs in the past year.
NAB’s latest Behavioral Insight Report found IT and technology professionals were among the country’s most likely to have left their job in the previous 12 months, with only labourers and unskilled workers reporting a higher rate of job change.
Even though the number of IT workers who changed work in the past year was high (28 per cent), the proportion of them who said they were considering a change at the time of the survey was relatively low (less than 20 per cent).
The last 12 months have seen a massive shift in IT workers, especially compared to the previous year in which only 10 per cent of IT professionals surveyed said they had changed job.
The main reason IT workers consider leaving their current jobs is a lack of career growth, something 41 per cent of respondents said was the reason they were considering new employment.
NAB’s research is the latest to consider whether there is evidence of the ‘great resignation’ – a sudden shift in the workforce that, as its name suggests, sees employees leaving their current jobs en masse – happening in Australia.
“The findings suggest after decades of low employee turnover, there is indeed a very sizeable share of the adult working population who have left or are considering leaving their current job,” the report said.
For the broader population, it’s around 20 per cent, with about a quarter saying they are thinking about new employment.
NAB Executive Julie Runski said there were a number of reasons people were considering a change in job.
“A heightened sense of mortality and burnout due to extra work particularly among frontline ‘essential’ workers is certainly high on the list,” she said.
“A strong rebound in the labour market is also giving people confidence they will find a job if they make the jump.”
The unemployment rate is at the lowest it has been in 10 years, sitting at 4.2 per cent in January, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, well down from its pandemic-caused high of 7.4 per cent in June 2020.
Around a fifth of IT workers surveyed by NAB said they were considering leaving their current job, citing a lack of career growth and desire for change as the main reasons why they were looking to move.
IT workers said COVID was a major influence on their considerations more than other sectors, possibly due to the wide acceptance of remote work.
For those who wanted to leave, most (69 per cent) said they would look at a new or different role altogether while 44 per cent said they would look for a similar role in the same industry.
But none said they would consider starting a business – the only job type in NAB’s report to have decided wholly against starting their own companies.
For employers, the data points at a continuing need to retain staff, especially in IT where shortages are an ongoing pain point and are worth, according to recent data from RMIT Online, an extra $7,700 per worker per year.