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.