The number of people leaving their primary occupation between April and June this year was 674,000, or around 2.4% of the UK workforce, a drop of 42% from the peak of 1.17m in 1998, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.
In total, 57% of people leaving their job did so voluntarily, a figure that has declined almost every year since 1996. This is the second-lowest proportion in 15 years, down moderately on last year’s figures but an increase on 2009, when the voluntary-involuntary ration was nearly 1:1.
The trends for people working in the public sector voluntarily or involuntarily leaving their main job during the recession remained little changed, but involuntary public sector job leavers have more than doubled since 2010.
The private sector saw a small overall rise in recession time job losses, with the number of those leaving voluntarily briefly outnumbered by involuntary job losses around Christmas 2008 and New Year 2009.
The ONS figures also show that younger workers are more likely to leave their jobs than older workers.