One in ten employees resigned from their job in 2012

One in ten employees resigned from their job in 2012

An average of one employee in 10 (10.6 percent) resigned from their job in 2012, according to an XpertHR survey. This compares to a voluntary resignation rate of 9.3 percent in 2011, 10.1 percent in 2010 and 12 percent in 2009.

The average total labour turnover rate across the economy for 2012 was higher, at 17 percent – 19.1 percent in private-sector services, 12.6 percent in manufacturing and production and 13.9 percent in the public sector. The latest findings released by XpertHR for 2012 reveal that private-sector-services employers experienced the highest resignation rates in the economy, at an average of 12.2 percent, followed by the public sector (8.1 percent) and manufacturing-and-production firms ( seven percent).

In private-sector services, voluntary staff departures have been more prevalent for the past three years than in other broad sectors, and this trend continues in the present survey. The average figure for voluntary resignations in the sector was 10.6 percent in 2010, compared with 11 percent in 2011 and 12.2 percent in 2012 – in each year these figures are higher than in the public or manufacturing-and-production sectors.

“The higher resignation rate recorded for private-sector-services employers reflects the higher confidence of employees in these organisations to seek new job opportunities,” says Rachel Suff, XpertHR author of the report. “The private sector, overall, has been quicker to recover from the tough economic climate and this could contribute to greater buoyancy in the jobs market.”

Wide variations in labour turnover patterns exist when our findings are analysed according to the various industries into which the economy is divided. Some of the gaps in staff turnover rates between the different industries of a sector are greater than the variations between broad sectors. For example, within private-sector services, the average voluntary resignation rate for transport and communications employers was 5.9 percent compared with 13.4 percent in finance organisations.

Breakdown of voluntary resignation rates in 2012 by industry1




No. of employers

Private-sector services

12.2 percent

10 percent



13.4 percent

13.9 percent


General services

11.2 percent

10 percent


Not for profit

12.3 percent

9.9 percent


Transport and communications

5.9 percent

5.5 percent


Manufacturing and production

7 percent

5.4 percent


General manufacturing

6.7 percent

4.4 percent


Public services

8.1 percent

7.5 percent


1. Statistical breakdowns are shown only where the sample size is at least 10.

Source: XpertHR.

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