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Tracking the 'whys' behind big job shifts

That first-day-at-a-new-gig feeling was quite widely experienced in the second quarter of 2001, with 1 in 5 Americans changing their job status.

The Lee Hecht Harrison Career Mobility Index - based on telephone surveys - indicated 80 percent of American adults who were employed at the start of the second quarter still worked for the same employer at the quarter's end. But that's a significant drop from the first three months of the year, when 88.7 percent of working Americans held the same job throughout the quarter.

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The survey points out that of those individuals whose employment status changed during the second quarter, 5.2 percent were "downsized." That's almost double the 2.8 percent who lost a job in the first three months of 2001.

As for the rest, 6.5 percent left voluntarily for a new job, while 6 percent work for the same employer in a new position. Some 3.2 percent retired, and 1.1 percent became self-employed.

The findings reflect the churn in the workforce as the economic downturn continues, according to Bernadette Kenny, executive vice president at Lee Hecht Harrison. She adds that the job-jumping is not all about firings. "We also see a small, but significant increase in those changing jobs on their own accord."


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