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‘I quit.’ Reporting on the flip side of employment

January 30, 2014

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Most business stories on the post-recession employment market focus on getting the job.  If you’re looking for a fresh take, why not focus on people who are handing in their resignation, and what that says about the market and the economy in your region?

Five years into a dismal era for workers – where tales about of thousands of applicants for every handful of low-wage openings, ageism, long-term jobless becoming pariahs, computer programs that screen out applicants before they’ve had a chance to show their stuff and other job-hunt woes – suddenly the word “quit” seems to be bubbling up in the zeitgeist.

Take this job and shove it button

According to reports, a “real person” will quit her job this weekend on national TV, in a GoDaddy commercial that she believes her unsuspecting boss is likely to be watching.  Not sure how that ties into GoDaddy’s product but no doubt we’ll find out.

And a new CareerBuilder survey says that one out of five workers plans to leave her job in 2014 – make that one in four for IT workers.  That’s up from 17 percent last year and the highest percentage post-recession, CareerBuilder says.  The survey outlines respondents’ reasons for seeking new work, from pay to feeling underappreciated; Forbes has expanded upon that in a recent article “Why your top talent is leaving in 2014.”

I said I thank this job and love it

A lot of people say they are going to quit their jobs and never do; it might be interesting, though, to talk with area employers, recruiters, staffing firms, business accounting firms, payroll processors and others with insight – do they expect 2014 to really be different in terms of labor turnover?  And if so, why?  Are people feeling more secure because investment/retirement accounts seem plumper due to an up stock market?  Do higher home values give a sense of security?  This Business Insider article posits that the Affordable Care Act will free people who feel shackled to a job for health insurance. 

Point being, if workers are feeling more secure and more able to take the leap, it says something about the economy that’s worth exploring.  This NPR report, “Millions of people are quitting their jobs every month. That’s good news,” touches on the topic and notes that 2.4 million Americans a month are handing in their resignations; one million more a month than in the worst of the economic slump.  Are they leaving because they are being hired elsewhere?  Because they are willing to chance a job hunt?  To retire?  To a different household arrangement – to be a stay-home parent or homemaker, for example, or to give care to elders?  Find the quitters and tell their tales, and beef up the report with sidebars from human resources professional, recruiters and financial advisers about topics ranging from how to migrate your retirement accounts upon leaving an employer to freshening a resume to interview tips.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover report (JOLT) is an overlooked gem that can help you with data; the report is issued monthly with the next edition due out Feb. 11 – and you can use the database to find hiring rates, quit rates and other stats narrowed by industry.


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