More Americans are throwing in the towel and that’s a good thing
By Nicole Goodkind
More Americans are saying “I’ve had it” and walking away from their jobs, according to data from the Labor Department. About 2.4 million American workers quit their jobs in November. Some workers retired while others left for better opportunities elsewhere. The nation’s “quit rate” was 1.8% in November, up from 1.2% in September 2009. The December quit rate, out Tuesday, is expected to show more gains.
Many economists see a higher quit rate as a positive economic indicator. Moving around is also a great way to stimulate wage growth.
Although the quit rate is improving, the percentage of Americans who resigned was higher before the recession.
“This is reflective of the job market in general,” says The Daily Ticker’s Lauren Lyster. “Yes we’re seeing slow and steady improvement but we’re still a long way from where we want to be.”
The economy added just 113,000 nonfarm jobs in January, a number far below expectations.
The boost in the quit rate comes mostly from low-wage jobs in restaurants and retail. Around 20% of November’s quits came from the “accommodation and food services” sector and only 5.2% of quits came from higher-paying jobs in manufacturing.
According to the Labor Department, 51% of U.S. workers have been with the same employer for at least five years, up from 46% in 1996.