Quitting your job? So are a lot of others

What’s good about it is bad about it.

That just about sums up how we feel about the latest news regarding the U.S. “quit rate.”

That’s the statistic the government comes up with to tell us how many people are quitting their jobs in any given month.

The good news, at least if you’re an employee, is that the quit rate in September was at its highest in more than six years. The bad news for employers, of course, is that people are leaving their jobs and you have to go out and find their replacement.

(Of course, that’s not always a negative, especially if you might have been looking for fresh talent.)

In any case, 2 percent of U.S. job-holders, or about 2.8 million workers, left their jobs under their own volition in September, the Labor Department said.

That’s important for two reasons:

One, the quits rate fell during the 2007-09 recession and has been slower to recover than other labor market indicators because workers lacked confidence to leave their jobs for greener pastures.

Some analysts believe this has helped keep wage gains stagnant even as the jobless rate has fallen because employers don’t have to raise wages as much to retain talent when there is less employee turnover.

Second, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has signaled the quits rate as an indicator she is following for assessing progress in the labor market’s recovery.

The data also showed the rate of hiring, which occupies another place on Yellen’s dashboard, rose in September.

In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 12,000 to 290,000 for the week ended Nov. 8.

That was a bigger increase than expected, but claims have now been below 300,000 for nine straight weeks, suggesting firms are well past a cycle of elevated layoffs that began in the recession.

Let us know how things are at your place. Are you seeing people leave? Are you hiring?

About the Author

Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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