Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Business Viewpoint: High churn rate a worrying trend

In the run-up to the Christmas/New Year period several 'please come back home' messages were delivered to the tens of thousands of ex-pats who visited family and friends in the province before jetting off to various parts of the world again.

Employment Minister Sir Reg Empey, for example, said: "With our growing economy and lower cost of living, Northern Ireland is a top choice for people looking to take the next step in their career. I would encourage people who currently study or work elsewhere to explore the exciting opportunities now available here."

Such sentiments are laudable, especially given that most evidence suggests the economy is expanding - and will continue to do so.

However, as leading Ulster economist and regular contributor John Simpson reveals in today's Business Telegraph, there is one aspect of the employment situation in the province that is a worrying trend.

We are talking about job turnover, and it's particularly stark in the private sector.

It appears that many Ulster companies find it hard to hold on to their staff.

To be fair the employers with the highest turnover rates employ lots of part-time staff. But surely there is more to a churn rate of around 25% than that?

The world's top CEOs regularly pronounce that people are the greatest asset in any company. The fear is that with such a churn rate many companies here do not believe that - and do not invest in people.

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