Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

More People Quitting Than Being Laid Off, Really

November 15th, 2010 | Bob Rosner

Image: Bob RosnerIf you’re not sitting down when you read the next paragraph, please do.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the geeks you pay to watch such trends, the number of people quitting their jobs now outnumbers those being laid off. In August there were 1.998 million quits and 1.83 million layoffs.

How bad does your job, and boss, have to be in this economy to voluntarily leave it? Especially when 1.83 million of your closest friends are being pushed out of theirs.

Apparently pretty bad, 1.998 million times bad.

So exactly what is going on here? The Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that quit rates, “can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to change jobs” and that normally, “quits tend to rise when the perception is jobs are available, and fall when jobs are scarce.”

Sure some people move, get a better job or retire. Having more people quit than are laid off still shouldn’t cover this many workers.

Significantly, the quits represent most industry sectors, manufacturing, retail, real estate, construction and hospitality, but are MOST significant in financial services and professional and business service.

I’d like to give a shout out to Globoforce for digging out these amazing numbers from the reams of data flowing out of the DOL. Remarkable stuff.

Wow, we really suck at management. In a terrible economy, more workers are actually jumping off the boat than are being pushed.

About The Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, “The Boss’s Survival Guide.” If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

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