The job market remains the worst since 1983, but November's unemployment rate improvement — from 10.2 percent to 10 percent — may begin feeding an employee exodus.
Based on surveys, several management consulting and human resource organizations said about half of U.S. workers are likely to try to change jobs next year.
Among the indicators:
-- Right Management surveyed 900 workers and found that 60 percent intend to leave their jobs in 2010.
-- The 2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations Report said 55 percent of employees plan to change jobs, careers or industries when the economy recovers.
-- CareerBuilder.com surveyed 4,285 full-time, private-sector employees. Forty percent said they had difficulty staying motivated in their current jobs, and 24 percent said they didnt feel loyal to their current employers.
Signs that job cuts are easing have prompted management experts to warn employers.
"The best workers are mobile in any economy," a Right Management missive said. Employee turnover is expected to rise next year, partly because research shows many workers are unhappy with their present jobs.
A Workforce Management magazine story last month said layoffs, pay cuts and other fallout from the recession have devastated employee engagement.
Experts in employee retention say staff-cutting and budget-cutting employers must move quickly to restore pay cuts and reward employees or risk losing them next year.