Job Quits at Highest Level Since April 2008
A new government report released Tuesday on job turnover might be troubling for employers worried about turnover: More workers quit a job in November than in any month since April 2008.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey — also called JOLTS — 2.83 million people quit a job in November. By comparison, quits were at 2.66 million in November 2014.
A high number of job openings might be influencing the number of quits. Openings increased to 5.43 million in November, up from the 5.35 million openings in October. That was less than economists expected, but the number of openings has increased by nearly 600,000 since November 2014.
A healthier job market — the healthiest since the economic crisis that began in 2007 — may be influencing workers to quit a job without something else already lined up.
“People are happy to put their necks out to look around and get a new job,” Thomas Costerg, a senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank, told Bloomberg Tuesday.
Many economists predict that employers will have to make changes — like increasing wages — to prevent an increase in turnover.
The number of job quits vary by industry. The healthcare and social assistance and non-durable goods manufacturing industries saw the largest number of quits. However, quits in the real estate and wholesale trade industries decreased.
By region, the southern U.S. states saw the highest number of quits at 1.14 million. Following that, the Midwest and the West had over 600,000 quits. Quits in the Northeast were estimated at 389,000.
The number of job openings by industry might give employers an idea about where quits might increase next.
Job openings in business services and education and health services were up by more 60,000 each between October and November. Openings in leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 23,000.
The rate of hiring was steady at 3.6% in November. The industry with the biggest pickup in hiring was leisure and hospitality. The increase was attributed to hiring in the lodging and food services industries.
The figures in the November JOLTS report, however, are preliminary and subject to change. The next report is due out in early February.