Employee dissatisfaction is building up like water behind a dam, which will break when the labour market improves, according to CIPD research.

In its quarterly Employee Outlook survey of 3,000 employees conducted by YouGov, the institute found that 75 per cent of respondents were not planning to change employer in the near future, with 64 per cent saying difficulties in the current labour market were the main reason for staying put.

But when employees were asked if they would ideally like to change jobs, 34 per cent said yes. Of these, 49 per cent are considering working in a different sector or changing careers completely.

Claire McCartney, CIPD adviser, resourcing and talent planning, said: “What is striking is the high proportion of people wanting to change sector or even change their line of work altogether. Concerns over job security and finding new work are prompting people to rethink their career aspirations and ambitions. This will also have a big impact on trends in the labour market. It’s clear from this quarter’s findings that the poor state of the labour market is acting like a dam holding back the normal flow of talent.

“Once job opportunities increase, however, dissatisfied employees will vote with their feet and leave, making it important for employers not to take the loyalty of their people for granted.”

Employees in banking and finance and construction were the most likely to want to change their jobs in the next year (41 per cent and 40 per cent respectively), while banking and finance workers were most keen to leave their sector.

The most popular sectors to move to were the public and voluntary sectors, with 28 per cent considering a role in community, social and personal services, 20 per cent wanting to move into education and 17 per cent looking for health and social work.

McCartney warned employers to avoid complacency if they wanted staff to stay when the economy improves. HR and managers should build engagement by providing clarity around career paths and setting meaningful work, she added.