Workers are quitting their jobs. That may be a good thing

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 | 12:40 PM ET
46,000 Americans quit jobs in November
Friday, 17 Jan 2014 | 2:26 PM ET
CNBC's Steve Liesman reports the total number of Americans who quit their jobs via the JOLTS Report.

More people are quitting their jobs, and that may actually be a good thing, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The percentage of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs—or "quit rate"—hit a high of 1.8 percent in November, up from a low of 1.2 percent in September 2009, according to Labor Department statistics included in the article.

The rise in job quitting implies workers are likely more optimistic about their career prospects—a good sign for the health of the overall economy. Job changes account for a significant degree of overall wage increases over the course of a career.

Long-term vs. short-term unemployed
CNBC's Steve Liesman provides insight into the current unemployment rate of 6.6 percent, and the chances of getting a job.

Turnover also tends to improve the efficiency of the labor market. It allows both workers and employers more opportunities to match skill sets with available jobs, while freeing up space for younger workers or other job seekers.

(Read more: See which US industry has jobs-and wants women)

But hiring numbers are still lagging, and economists say a lot of the new jobs are in industries with high turnover and low pay, such as restaurants and retail. If new hires in other industries do no pick up, the labor market could yet stagnate and depress wages.

To read the full story in the Wall Street Journal, click here. (Paywall)


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