Nearly half of Canadians want to leave their job

27 October 2020 2 min. read
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Nearly half (49%) of Canadian workers are seriously considering leaving their current job, according to recruitment consultancy Hays Canada’s annual salary guide. This represents a 9-point increase from 2019.

Employees were most ready to leave their roles in Quebec (54%) and Ontario (52%).

Workers have been hammered by the pandemic, with remote work isolation, remote management issues, workforce cuts, and salary freezes weighing heavily on employees. Before the pandemic hit, 81% rated their wellbeing as “positive.” That number dropped to 64% in August, when the Hays survey was conducted.

The top factors affecting people’s wellbeing were a lack of social interaction (45%), isolation (27%), and increased workload.

Unfortunately, many workers haven’t been getting the wellbeing support they need. A majority of employers (54%) admitted they don’t have any employee wellness or mental health assistance programs in place.

Nearly half of Canadians want to leave their job

Many companies have been in survival mode during the pandemic, however, focusing on maintaining day-to-day operations and preserving cash flow during a severe economic downturn. This has, unsurprisingly, resulted in job cuts and muzzled compensation levels. One-third of employer respondents said they have cut staff and 71% said they have frozen salaries. Only 19% plan to increase pay higher than annual cost-of-living adjustments, while 29% say that no salary increases are planned in the next year.

Ahead of the second Covid-19 wave in Canada, the employers polled in August were fairly optimistic. A majority (55%) said they were back to business as usual, while 19% said they were in growth mode after a locked-down second quarter.

Rebounding job figures back some of that optimism. Canada added 378,000 new jobs in September after seeing 246,000 job additions in August. The unemployment rate dropped to 9% in September, having previously reached a high of 13.7% in May.

It remains to be seen how the second wave of restrictions in Quebec, Ontario, and other provinces will affect job numbers in October and beyond.

“Covid-19 has left everyone exhausted and while many businesses are improving, staff are waving a white flag,” said Travis O’Rourke, president, Hays Canada. “Employees expect a company to have their best interests at heart and we’re now seeing evidence that unsupported teams look for better opportunities. Once we turn a corner on the pandemic or see more signs of job market strength, those employees are gone.”