More Workers Quitting Than Getting Fired
People are slightly less skittish about quitting their jobs, which is a good sign for the economy, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In 2001, the US Department of Labor began using the “quits rate” as a measure of worker confidence. The thinking is that people generally don’t choose to leave their jobs unless they won the lottery, or believe they have a good chance of getting another job quickly. When the economy is bad, people stay put. When it’s good, they move around.
Well, the quitters have finally overtaken the layoffs...
In February, 51 percent of workers quit, up from 49.8 percent the month before. This is the first time that has happened since the “economic recovery” began.
"Quits go hand-in-hand with consumer confidence and for the first time of the recovery, quits represent a greater percentage of total separations than do involuntary layoffs," wrote Nicholas Colas, market strategist at ConvergEx Group.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, people clung to their jobs starting in 2008 and continuing through 2011. But the data do show that some confidence is slowly creeping back in.
In February, 2009, when the quit rate was at its’ lowest, John Wohlford of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics spoke with Jacki Lyden of NPR, and told him:
“We don't collect the reason that people quit, and I'm sure there are many. But you can tend to use the quits rate as a barometer of people's confidence in their ability to change jobs. People are more likely to quit if they think that they can get themselves a better situation. They're less likely to quit if they feel like they're not going to be able to get a better job.”
Apart from the confidence factor, economist say a healthy quits rate also means that there is more “churn” in the job market, which is a good thing.
“For workers who are unemployed, if there’s less churning of jobs, it’s harder to get on the merry-go-round,” University of Chicago economist Steven Davis told the Wall Street Journal in February.
But quits are just part of churn. Companies need to be willing to fill those openings as people quit. As it stands now, job openings are climbing faster than hires, which could mean that companies are still not as eager to take on new recruits.
Some of the folks who quit their jobs have done well for themselves, according to NPR.
Mike Precker of Dallas spent 25 years writing and editing for The Dallas Morning News. Realizing he was on a sinking ship, he made a joke to his friend, who happened to own a “gentleman’s club.” He’s now manager and “writer in residence” of The Lodge in Dallas, and has no regrets.
“From the first moment, absolutely. I mean, I miss newspapers. I miss the newsroom. I have a great nostalgia for, you know, sort of the good old days of a decade ago. Things are changing very fast, and I really root for the media, but it's honestly a relief in the meantime that I'm not dependent on it turning out right and then making the right decisions,” he told NPR.+8
More like this...5 Charts to Explain the Manipulated Housing Market
Is the market fully recovering? Are we near a bottom? Have lower rates really spurred home sales? All of the above are examined in 5 easy charts...
Highlights from Today's Employment Report
Finally some good news to report! Check out the meat of today's unemployment report...
Minimum Wage Laws Crippling Small Business
Who the hell would hire a teenager for $12 an hour?!?