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Americans are quitting their jobs at highest rate since 2008

Posting in Sustainability

If you're thinking of quitting your job, now might be a good time - at least that's what more than 2 million people said recently. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people are voluntarily quitting their jobs at the highest rate since before the recession.

The most recent findings of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (also known as JOLTS) reported that 2.16 million people quit their jobs -- that represents 53 percent of 'job separations', including quits, layoffs, and discharges. The graph above shows the trend over the last decade.

At first glance, the jobs picture does not seem particularly positive. There is a persistent 'skills gap' in the market -- job openings have risen by 11.3 percent in the last year, but hiring has fallen 1.6 percent, as employers are unable to find the skills they need in the market. Additionally, there have been allegations of discrimination against unemployed workers in the hiring process -- in fact, New York recently enacted a law making it illegal for employers to discriminate against those who are jobless.

But the fact that people are quitting their jobs at such high rates, while it might signal a fairly low level of job satisfaction, is actually a good indicator of workers' confidence in the job market. They are either confident that they will be able to find employment elsewhere, or they may have decided to work independently - 40 percent of the American workforce is expected to be self-employed by 2020.

So while labor statistics have yet to show sustained improvement, the number of people quitting could mean good news for the job market, and for the economy.

Photo: Gluskin Sheff

via [Business Insider]

— By on April 10, 2013, 9:51 PM PST

Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure