Job-Hopping Increasing in U.S. Economy

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek September 14, 2018

Employees are quitting their jobs in record numbers this year, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

There were 3.6 million employees who voluntarily quit their jobs by the end of July. That's a quits rate of 2.4 percent, according to a BLS statement released in September. The last time the quits rate was 2.4 percent or higher was in April 2001. 

The quits rate, the BLS noted, "can serve as a measure of workers' willingness or ability to leave jobs."

Some theorize that the booming economy is prompting workers across a wide range of industries to quit their jobs for more lucrative positions elsewhere. 

SHRM Online has collected the following articles from its archives and other news outlets on this topic and on retention strategies.  

U.S. Job Openings Hit Record, Quit Rate Reaches 17-Year High 

Job postings exceeded the number of unemployed people by 659,000 in July. Americans are more confident about leaving their jobs for better pay elsewhere amid Republican-backed tax cuts that have boosted the economy. 

In This Economy, Quitters Are Winning 

Workers tend to get their biggest wage increases when they move from one job to another. Job-switchers saw roughly 30 percent larger annual pay increases in May than those who stayed put over the past 12 months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
(Wall Street Journal)  

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Managing for Employee Retention]   

Study: 51 Percent of Your Employees Are Quitting. Keeping Them Comes Down to These 4 Steps 

The strategy to win your best people back is through "re-recruitment," according to Gallup. But first, take a look at your leadership and management team. It starts with them. Do they have the capacity to lead well? Because that's what it's going to take to pull off these four strategies and keep people.  


If You Can't Boost Wages, Try Better Benefits 

"Lagging wages not only are causing increased job hopping but are in many cases adversely affecting morale and work efforts," said Lynn Reaser. She is chief economist at the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. "This has become increasingly apparent to [HR] as quit rates at companies rise and it is becoming harder to fill vacancies."

Reaser insists that when discussing stagnant wages with senior managers, HR professionals "definitely need to have a stronger voice." 
(SHRM Online)  

Employers Beef Up Benefits to Keep Talent 

Organizations are taking a closer look at their benefits programs to ensure they stay competitive

"With the unemployment rate at a historical low and 14 states setting record lows for unemployment in the last 12 months, organizations seem to be leveraging their benefits to recruit and retain talent," said Trent Burner, vice president of research at the Society for Human Resource Management.
 (SHRM Online)




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