Great resignation: why Luxembourg is more at risk

In the United States, the birthplace of the phenomenon, 48 million workers resigned in 2021 and about 4 million per month in 2022, according to multiple international sources. The so-called “big layoff” is leaving your employer abruptly without them seeing the blow coming. Until recently, Europe had escaped this trend, but several countries are exceptions, including France with a 20% increase in CDI cancellations in 2021, Europe 1 explained here.

Luxembourg is considered a risk country. Mainly because the labor market is tight and there is strong demand. But also because of housing prices, transport problems…

One in four Luxembourg workers also rates the likelihood of changing employers within 12 months as “very” or “extremely high”, according to a multi-media PwC study conducted among around 1,200 workers per country. Which quite simply makes it the European country most affected by these desires elsewhere.

For his part, Adem has no figures on the subject.

A question of salary

For its part, the recruitment association FR2S (Federation for Recruitment, Search & Selection) notes that “employees leave their jobs for a yes or a no”. Its co-president Nathalie Delebois explains: “If they don’t get the raise they want, they will see if the grass is greener somewhere else.”

The positions sought by companies are “not creations, but substitutes”. She explains this movement of outflows and inflows of workers by a labor market that is “more dynamic than in other European countries” and largely applicant-friendly. According to the latest figures from Adem, there were 13,599 job vacancies in Luxembourg at the end of June, a record 39.7% in one year.

Looking for flexibility

These market dynamics and the employees’ position of strength vis-à-vis their employers therefore lead to the desire to improve one’s own wage income. Especially since inflation impoverishes many workers.

Countries where wage indexation is automatic according to the development of various indices, such as Belgium, appear to be less affected by the “big layoff”. Does the shift in the index push Luxembourg workers to look for a better salary elsewhere? No, says Nathalie Delebois. “The candidates want a higher salary, but if there is no index (at the national level, ed.), it affects all employers.” Although salary increases are more or less common from one company to another, some have collective agreements that provide for increases based on seniority, for example.

But for Nathalie Delebois, the phenomenon triggered by the Covid crisis is generational. “There is a search for meaning and balance.” Hence greater difficulties in recruiting in sectors such as gastronomy: “Young people no longer want to work on weekends.”

“We systematically ask companies how many days off they offer, their telework policy, which we haven’t done before,” explains the recruiter.

When Luxembourg loses its attractiveness

She fears the restrictions on teleworking for cross-border workers will exacerbate the situation. “An accountant from Metz will be more inclined to take a job in Paris, where he can do more remote work.”

Another issue is housing. “Border residents want to go back to France, spending two hours in the car doesn’t interest them anymore. If access to housing was easier, they would migrate to Luxembourg.”

A loss of attractiveness of the country, confirmed by Isabelle Pigeron-Piroth, researcher at the University of Luxembourg, specialist in the cross-border labor market. “It is possible that the demographic challenge, with significant labor needs in all parts of the Greater Region, will result in a certain number of cross-border workers returning to their country of residence. Especially when we factor in mobility issues, fuel prices and tax reforms leading to higher taxes for cross-border workers.”

The Grand Est seems particularly affected by the wave of resignations. In joint statistics, Pôle emploi and the Regional Directorate for Economy, Employment, Labor and Solidarity (DREETS) count 2,080 new arrivals from jobseekers after a layoff, an increase of 5.6% in a quarter and 31.6% in a year. Nationally, they increased by 2.1% in a quarter and by 29.8% in a year. While unemployed entries decrease after layoff in both cases.

It remains to be seen whether inflation will not, on the contrary, slow down these resignations for more security. “I don’t know, but at the moment it’s insane,” concludes Nathalie Delebois.

Kaddouri Ismail

I am Ismail from Morocco, I work as a blogger and online marketer. I am also the founder of the “Mofid” site, in which I constantly publish many important articles in the field of technology, taking advantage of more than 5 years of experience working in the field. I focus on publishing in a group of areas, the most important of which are programming, e-marketing, digital currencies and freelance work.

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