For the first time since 2008, more than half a million employees have submitted their resignation and this, during each of the last three quarters analyzed by Dares.
The “Great Resignation” finally crossed the Atlantic Ocean. In any case, the number of employees who have submitted their resignation to their employer has never been so high since the last financial crisis in 2008. This is the main lesson of a study by the Research Animation Department , Studies and Statistics (Dares) published this Thursday.
According to figures collected by this entity attached to the Ministry of Labour, more than 520,000 employees, including 470,000 on permanent contracts, resigned during the first quarter of 2022, a number that has been rising steadily for almost a year and a half. France had not crossed this symbolic threshold of half a million resignations since the first quarter of 2008, just before the great financial crisis spread to European countries.
A major cause of recruitment tensions
The expression “Great resignation” has been used for several months to refer to the situation of the American labor market which is facing a real wave of employee departures, in search of change. However, the case of France differs from the context specific to the United States where “the large number of resignations would rather be the symptom of recruitment tensions than their cause” according to Dares.
The two countries agree on the other hand on their resignation rate, certainly high but not unprecedented. This indicator is obtained by relating the number of resignations to the active population and reached 2.7% in France in the first quarter of 2022, which remains lower than the highest observed in 2008 (2.9%). For companies with more than 50 employees, this resignation rate is now higher than at the time of the last global financial crisis (2.3% against 1.7%) but remains below the peak of 2.3% in the first quarter of 2001.
Employees in a position of strength
Dares, however, calls for the number of resignations to be put into perspective due to the current tensions in the labor market. “Recruitment difficulties are at unprecedented levels in the manufacturing industry and services, and at their highest since 2008 in construction,” she notes.
“This situation creates opportunities for employees already in office and is likely in turn to lead to more resignations.”
More than opportunities, the extent of recruitment difficulties allows employees to now be in an advantageous negotiation relationship with the employer. “Starting salaries are likely to increase, especially for people who have recently resigned,” says Dares.
“In addition to this potential effect on wages, the Acemo-Covid surveys show that, at the beginning of 2022, certain companies are making concessions on the conditions or organization of work (teleworking) or on the form of employment contracts to retain or attract employees.”
Finally, the labor market remains no less dynamic since out of ten employees on permanent contracts who resigned in the second half of 2021, eight found a job during the following six months.
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