Does staff turnover cost 10% of GDP?

According to reports in today’s Fairfax papers

STAFF turnover is costing Australian businesses $100 billion a year in lost productivity, training and recruitment costs – and generation Y is copping much of the blame. …

A new study shows staff turnover for workers in their 20s is running at 40 per cent a year. The rate for all workers is 18 per cent.

$100 billion is about 10% of GDP, and more than double all of education’s contribution to GDP. It doesn’t seem very likely that staff turnover has such a negative effect on the economy, particularly as there is also a balancing positive effect in achieving a better match between jobs and workers.

And if 18% of all workers are replaced each year at a cost of $100 billion it means that every job change costs about $52,000. Maybe some high-level job turnover has costs at that level, but in the industries where staff churn is greatest, accommodation, restuarants, cafes and retail, I’m sure it is a very small fraction of that, given the relatively low levels of skill typically required and the fact that employees will bring skills from previous jobs to new jobs.

Gen Y is being unfairly blamed too. Continue reading “Does staff turnover cost 10% of GDP?”