Tony Dobrowolski: Leaving versus staying in your job



Friday was Valentine's Day, a time to let your significant others know how you feel about them.

For the most part, people express warm feelings about the ones they love, but that sentiment often doesn't carry over to how they feel about their jobs. Especially this year.

According to a new survey by Career Builder, 21 percent of full-time employees in the United States plan to change jobs this year, the highest amount recorded in the post-recession era, and a 17 percent increase over 2013.

That's roughly one out of every five of the 3,008 full-time, private sector employees who were surveyed.

Many of the jobs created since we've slowly begun to climb out of the recession aren't high paying positions, which could be one reason why so many people are interested in finding a new line of work.

CareerBuilder believes a drop in job satisfaction may contribute to that increase. According to the survey, 59 percent of workers say they're satisfied with their jobs, a slight drop from 66 percent in 2013. But 18 percent say they aren't satisfied, up from 15 percent last year. The biggest factors cited by the dissatisfied are salary (66 percent), and not feeling valued (65 percent).

Rosemary Haefner, the vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, said employers should offer frequent recognition, merit bonuses, training programs and clearly defined work paths as important ways to show what workers mean to their companies. No surprise there.

But she also believes the expected higher rate of turnover is a sign of something else.

"In general, however, when more workers change jobs it's usually a sign the labor market is warming up," Haefner said in a statement.

Here's a few more statistics to chew on.

Forty-five percent of workers say they are dissatisfied with advancement opportunities where they currently work, while 39 percent are dissatisfied with their work/life balance. Another 39 percent feel underemployed, while 36 percent believe they were overlooked for a promotion. An additional 39 percent feel they are highly stressed at work.

In the satisfied column, 54 percent listed getting along with their fellow employees as reasons why they like their jobs; 50 percent cited a good work/life balance; 49 percent say they have good benefits; and 43 percent stay because they make a good salary. Thirty five percent listed "a lot of uncertainty in the job market" as reasons for staying where they are; 35 percent stay because they have a "quick commute"; and 32 percent are happy because "I have a good boss who watches over me."

Thinking of starting a new business? According to another study by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists, the best states for establishment growth are Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida and Washington, while the worst states are Michigan, New Jersey, Idaho, Colorado, Kansas and California.

Numerous television commercials have extolled the virtues of working in New York, and based on this survey's numbers they may be on to something. From 2009-2012, New York accounted for 16 percent of all new establishments in the United States, second only to Texas' 22 percent. There are 21 percent more establishments in New York in 2012 than there were in 2009, a jump of 5 percent.

Pretty impressive figures considering the current economic climate.


We mention local businesses' significant anniversaries in this column from time to time, and here are a few that recently crossed the business desk.

Michele's Salon & Day Spa in Great Barrington is celebrating its 20th anniversary next month, and will commemorate the occasion on Saturday, March 1, by transforming nearby Crissey Farm into a dance club. Guests, past and present staff members, and other supporters of the salon over the years are invited to attend.

WBCR-FM (97.7), Great Barrington's community radio station, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of on-air, local public service, no small feat considering the consolidation that has swept the radio industry. The station's first broadcast occurred on March 7, 2004.

In a related matter, Edward Jones, which operates financial services firms in Adams, North Adams and Pittsfield, was recently ranked fourth on Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for List for 2014." This is the 15th time Edward Jones has made that list. The St. Louis-based company ranked eighth in 2013, and received the top ranking in 2002 and 2003.

It also doesn't appear that many Edward Jones employees would be among the percentage of dissatisfied workers that we mentioned at the beginning of this column.

A Fortune Magazine survey found that 96 percent of Edward Jones associates are proud that they work for the company, while 93 percent believe they are offered the training and development that they need.

Tony Dobrowolski is the business editor of The Berkshire Eagle. He can be reached at


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