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Brissenden
Causes of labor Turnover



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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES




CAUSES OF LABOR TURNOVER



BY PAUL F. BRISSENDEN
AND EMIL FRANKEL



A Reprint from

ADMINISTRAnON

The Journal of Business
Analysis ana Control

for November, 1921



UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA

AT

LOS ANGELKS
UBRARY



NEW YORK

THE RONALD PRESS COMPANY

1921



CAUSES OF LABOR TURNOVER



BY PAUL F. BRISSENDEN* AND EMIL FRANKELf



THE reasons for employees leaving
the service of an industrial estab-
lishment may be traced back either to
purely voluntary action on their part,
generally caused by dissatisfaction
with the prevailing conditions of
employment, or to action initiated by
the employer and due either to cur-
tailment of industrial activities or to
dissatisfaction with the services of
certain of his employees. Separations
occurring on the employee's own initia-
tive are referred to in this article as
voluntary separations or quits; and
those resulting from the affirmative
action of the employer are referred to
as lay-offs or discharges, as the circum-
stances indicate. In attempting to
get some conception of the relative
responsibility of the various influences
bearing upon the mobility of labor it is
highly important to give some special
consideration to each of these three
types of separations. In the figures
presented here on the nature of sepa-
rations, "quits" are taken to include
all voluntary separations, including
withdrawals due to death, marriage,
etc.

Discharges nearly always mean dis-
missal "for cause," which presupposes
some form of incapacity for the work
or at least what is believed to be some
defect in the character of the employee.
Under lay-offs are grouped those who
are "let out" either temporarily or
permanently whether because of the
completion of the job or because of
shortage of the particular work at
which the laid-off employee was en-

* Lecturer on Economics, School of Business, Colum-
bia University, New York City.

t Secretary and Director of the Research Bureau of
the Baltimore Federation of Clothing Manufacturers.



gaged. Lay-offs are not voluntary
separations and have nothing to do
with the character of the employee.
Lay-offs, moreover, seldom are made
for a definite length of time and a large
proportion of laid-off employees, as a
matter of fact, never return to the
same establishment from which they
were laid off.

The figures presented in this article
are based upon the results of extensive
investigations of labor turnover made
by the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics. The Bureau's inquiries in-
cluded (1) a pre-war inquiry made in
1915 and 1916, and reporting in a
general way the extent of turnover
during the five-year period 1910-1915
and, in more detail for the years 1913
and 1914, not only the causes and
extent of it, but also the efforts that
were being made to reduce it; and (2)
a war-time investigation made in 1918,
resulting in an intensive report of the
turnover situation for the 12-month
period ended May 31, 1918. By the
use of material secured by correspond-
ence, some of the data from these
field investigations were brought down
to January 1, 1920. The returns from
the two inquiries cover upwards of 260
industrial establishments, employing
over 500,000 workers, in 17 of the most
important industrial states.^



II

The relative extent to which separa-
tions take place under the three sets of
circumstances (i.e., specified as quits,

• For an official summary of the results of these in-
vestigations, see the writers' article on "Mobility of
Labor in American Industry," 10 Monthiu Labor Review
1342-1362 (June, 1920).



13269



ADMINISTRATION



Vol. II
No. 6



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Online LibraryPaul F. (Paul Frederick) BrissendenCauses of labor turnover → online text (page 1 of 3)