Thursday, May 27, 2010

Signs of labor market improvement

Tuesday's WSJ reports that an increasing percentage of employees are leaving their jobs voluntarily.  For the first time in 18 months, the quit rate is higher than the layoff rate.  The main reason is that the layoff rate has dropped quite a bit in the last two quarters; the increase in the quit rate is relatively modest.

As a general rule people do not quit their jobs when the unemployment rate is almost 10 percent.  The increase in the quit rate suggests that there has been an increase in job openings and employers are starting to raid each other.  If employment starts growing on a sustained basis, companies will not be able to rely on raiding alone to fill positions, thereby opening up opportunities for the jobless.  Hopefully we will continue to get good news on the employment front. 

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