Why It’s a Good Thing More People Are Quitting Their Jobs

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Go ahead, tell the boss where to put it. That’s what more Americans are doing, according to an analysis of employment data by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.—and it’s a good thing. Why? Labor mobility is one indicator of a strengthening economy. Of the 4.37 million workers who quit in August, more than half were voluntary, which is up 11% over the previous year. “[It] suggests that more are being lured away by other employers or that they are confident enough in their job prospects that they can leave before securing a new position,” said John A. Challenger, the firm’s ceo.

Or, they really, really, can’t stand the job they have.

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In either case, if people are leaving their jobs for better options, either real or perceived, you can bet that money is one of the issues. Real wage growth has been stagnant in the U.S. for a decade, which is one reason our economy continues to putter along, given that consumer spending is such a large component on GDP. Pressure on employers to lift wages ultimately lifts spending.

There’s been relatively good news on the jobs opening front, too. According to the bureau of Labor Statistics, August job openings reached 3.883 million, which is up 70% from August 2009, in the trough of the downturn. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined last week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits numbered 3440,000, a decline of 10,0000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Which means that when you do tell the boss to take a hike, you’ve likely got more places to go to as well.

5 comments
AngelaJShirley
AngelaJShirley

I marvel at articles like this one that says there are jobs and the recession is going away or has gone. I may be wrong, but I feel a lot of these articles are being written from surveys and not actually going out into the real world and checking things out. I have been laid off since 2008, third time and usually can find a job before my unemployment benefits run out. This time, they ran out in 2010 along with my savings (you cannot live on unemployment alone). Anyway, not one to sit around and complain as I do what I need to do to generate some income - not enough to get my own place again, but it is legal - temporary work and online work. What the surveys say, is not is really going on in the real world. I will believe it when it happens in my life. Career Counseling

MichaelJaccarino
MichaelJaccarino

The key here is that people are voluntarily leaving their job - yes some might be doing so because they are in a really bad work environment, but others are quitting by their own volition because of better jobs elsewhere or because of the 'entrepreneurial bug' which seems to be on the rise. I had recently stumbled across a site http://www.quitornot.com and it was like fate - I had been thinking about quitting my own job and after going through that site I realized it was meant to be. I couldn't be happier with my decision to be my own boss... @SnowShift and while the work I do can be undercut by others at places like Amazon Turk or freelance sites, I find that people will pay for quality and once you get enough clients, if you do a good job, people will recommend you to their friends and colleagues. The point is, if you aren't happy at your 50k+ job, you shouldn't just sit there and take it.

majinyojimbo
majinyojimbo

Further proof of economists living in la-la land

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

"Or, they really, really, can’t stand the job they have.":

The article seems fraught with guesswork here.  I quit my job for the reason above.  In a labor market where the employer has the upper hand downsizing means they can cut jobs and hand off the vacated responsibilities to those that are left.  Then they can demand more from them.

My personal experience was one of an unreasonable work environment that became overly stressful and even toxic as the upper administration verbally abused their employees.  Money had nothing to do with it.

SnowShift
SnowShift

I've been looking out for new prospects, and it's amazing the number of people ... even friends ... who want to give employment -- at below minimum wage. And as for the professionals? Check Amazon's Mechanical Turk. A large percent are paying ... and I'm not kidding ... what works out to $1/hr.

Our international marketplace has become brutal and unscrupulous. Those who are sitting on fat salaries of 50K+ with benefits? Don't be complacent. Work hard to earn your money, because the sea is full of sharks who will take your job, just to survive.