Despite High Unemployment, Number Of People Quitting Is Soaring

quitting JOLTS survey, worker packs up to leave his cubicleBy Vivian Giang

People are voluntarily quitting their jobs at the highest rate since the pre-recession era, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey - known as JOLTS -- published by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report says that 2.16 million people quit their jobs in the latest data, which represents 53 percent of all job separations -- this includes quits, layoffs and discharges -- when accounting for retirees.

The graph below, published by Gluskin Sheff Research, illustrates the trend in the quitting rate and the number of people who have quit as a percentage -- compared to the total number of people employed in the past decade:

JOLTS survey quitting chart

So what does this mean about our labor market? In short, it's an indication that people are confident that they can find other opportunities elsewhere and is "a sign of any sustained improvement in the labor markets," Fed vice chair Janet Yellen said in a speech last month.

Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, tells Christopher Rugaber at The Associated Press that this confidence happens when "the economy grows fast enough." Ultimately, people have faith in their own skills to make a living some other way rather than stay in a job they're not satisfied with.

So who are these workers? There's a good possibility that people are leaving their jobs to pursue freelancing, consulting or the entrepreneur route. This need to work for yourself is predicted to reach 40 percent of the American workforce by 2020, and is most common in sectors of the economy that are growing.

More: The Real Unemployment Rate Is Worse Than You Think

Economist Robert Reich tells us that "at least [for] now, a few employees feel they can do better as consultants or freelancers," because "they've been required to take on so much extra work they need more control over their time. Although the labor participation rate is extremely low -- the lowest it's been since 1979 -- employers are demanding longer work hours from those who are employed.

"This has put a particularly heavy burden on working mothers and others who have primary responsibility for child care or elder care."

Aside from those with an entrepreneurial mindset, another group of people who are quitting tend to be "young, black, Hispanic, female [and] working class," says Pat Buchanan at Free Republic. In this group, workers may be leaving to go back to school for a chance of finding better jobs.

Although the demand for labor is on the rise, there has been a mismatch in the skills employers need and what's currently available. According to the BLS, job openings have risen by 11.3 percent in the past year, yet hiring has declined by 1.6 percent, meaning that jobs are available but there aren't enough people with the needed skills to fill them.

Although workers quitting may be tiresome for companies and HR, the bigger picture indicates that those in the workforce are confident about what's ahead for the labor market.
How to Know When It's Time to Quit Your Job

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I have a small businss with nine employees. I am a few years a way from normal retirement, but am considering shutting it down. I have been beseiged with regulations that were not there ten years ago-including an SEC requirement that my small company submit a complete yearly audited statement to keep in business. I live in the state of Ohio which also wants to impose a s sales & use tax on me which places me at a severe competitive bid disadvantage to out of state firmns which are not subject to such a tax. Obama has raised my personal tax rate to a whopping 39.6%. Combined with my state income tax, FICA-I pay the employer's portion as well and other miscellaneous taxes I will be paying over 50% of my pretax income to the state and federal governments.

I use my own case as an example because it is a great example of a company struggling to survive that is being used as an unwilling milk cow for the government's entitlement programs. My wife recently worked at a national non profit organization which provides services to the inner city as a kind of domestic Peace Corps. the stories she tells me about people scamming their way onto welfare, disability etc. and their complete disinterest to actually work for a living is shocking. We haver two close relationships that are actually doing this also. It is no longer a racil thing-it is spreading across the USA into every racial and ethnic group. An entire major segment of our society now prefers to let others pay their way while they do nothing.

I have paid the top end Social Security and Medicare rate almost since i got out of Vietnam-for more than half that time paying my empoyers portion as well. I will have to pauy a premium when i receive medicare since my salary is so high. Yes. Medicare has a progressive premium for high income retirees. So you pay for everyone else on the way into it as well as on the way out.

I built my investment banking froma spare bedroom in my house with practically zero money. I have paid huge taxes since then. Yet Obama says "You didn't build that".

You tell me what incentive I have to keep my business in operation. I am taxed like hell and am demonized by a President who hates the private Sector and thinks it is doing fine, lied about all of the key aspects o Obamacare before it was passed and wans to raise taxes on me even more as a panaceea to pay for more entitlements with whivch to addict the rest of you.

This is what I and many other small business owners-by the way this is where the real jobs growth comes from-have to face right now.

April 13 2013 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

when those that are willing to work see that they must support those unwilling to work they get fed up and quit.

April 13 2013 at 7:41 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I've seen about a dozen comments here saying people are quitting to get on the unemployment/entitlement gravy train.
Oh yeah?.... Fat chance. B.S. FICTION!!!

You are not entitled to compensation if you Voluntarily quit unless......... You have "Good Cause."
"Good cause" hearings for voluntary quits almost always rule against you. The burden of proof is on you and the employer wll lie through his teeth because the more that collect, the higher his contri to the system.
For every 100 that try, 3 or 4 might win after MONTHS of payless waiting. Also... living on 60% of what you used to make ain't heaven.
P.S. It's 100% taxable income now, so if you had earnings before leaving, together they may be taxed.

You have a CHANCE if you can prove disability but........ In my area, the process average is about 2 YEARS backlogged. IF you win. I had a relative who had 4 herniated disks and going in his third hearing with his doctor's sworn statements and X-rays that made his spine look like scoliosis the hearing folks yawned: "We don't believe you. Prove it further. Have two of our doctors agree" More useless waiting.
Yep, for every 5 stories you hear in the Media about a "Cheater," there's 95 getting denied with REAL hardships.
LAWYER time....... By this time you've been broke for a year and MAYBE get a lawyer on a pay later thing, and if you finally win after 2 years (More in some cases) you've lost your house and everything you own(ed). and the lawyer grabs 30% or more.

Those Cheater stories on TV are sick to see, but the TRUTH is there are many many MANY more who get denied or go into high debt before their credit cards finally hit limits, begging on relatives, and if they do win and get back monies, they are so far in debt they'll be digging out for a decade.

These days, most of us would be hurting if we lost a few weeks pay. Imagine zero dollars for 2 years?
( Usually involving moving in with your elderly parents or others. )

April 13 2013 at 4:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not serprized,,OVOMIT has created an intitalment socity,,why work, when you can get 99 weeks of unemployment, food stamps, wonder.

April 12 2013 at 10:30 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

"Some employers" have really milked the enconomy to hell and back! "Some workers" have already given up too much, and have gotten too little back, for too long. "Sometimes" a person has to say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

April 12 2013 at 7:12 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to barrybarrysteep1's comment

You do not know what in the h**l you are tralking about. Unless you have been brainwashed into thiniking the greed of the banks and oil companies extends down to small business. These are oligopolies and the bamnlking crisis was caused by Bill Clinton when he repealed Glass Steagall-which prevented banks from buying other financial institutions such as investment banking firms, insurance and mortgage companies etc. in 1997. Google it. If that is what you truly believe you are sorely mistaken.

Frankly speaking, if you are unaware of these facts then the media has not been doing its job to explain it to you.

April 13 2013 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It takes a liberal dunce Napoleon complex Reich to spin this in a negative way.
People quit to better themselves. They always have.
And if Obama doesn't confiscate every last drop of the reward for being enterprising and moving up the ladder, they always will.

April 12 2013 at 6:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Article Quote: In short, it's an indication that people are confident that they can find other opportunities elsewhere and is "a sign of any sustained improvement in the labor markets," Fed vice chair Janet Yellen said in a speech last month.Unquote.
How out of touch is that?????
This article in in reference to "when accounting for retirees"
People that are old enough to retire. Hello..???. "Babyboomers" that have worked all their lives and paid into a system to reap their rewards. (Social Security). People that are old enough,smart enough and FED-UP with the corporations and employers they had to put up with, all their working lives.
It's the only "Reward" they get for being a loyal tax paying citizen of our Great Country.
Now, here's another, "Smoke and Mirrors", "FED", "Barking Up The Wrong Tree".

April 12 2013 at 3:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Libs always trying to foist a silver lining on the public in the face of their usual failures.

April 12 2013 at 2:24 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Why bust your hump for $30-40k when you can do nothing and collect welfare/food stamps/SSI etc?

Gov't handouts are tax-free and add up to the equivalent of making slmost $60k

April 12 2013 at 1:42 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Unemployment checks for one year? Disability? Since the government is now going to provide them with what they need, why should they work? The guy in the White House will take care of them.

April 12 2013 at 1:38 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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