Across the country, Americans are quitting their jobs. According to the most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), American workers are quitting at the highest rate since 2001. It's a trend that can be seen across all age and wage brackets, including those who earn six figures.
Confidence in the labor market is sky-high thanks to a low national unemployment rate of just 3.7 percent. In fact, workers are feeling so sure of themselves that when Ladders surveyed more than 50,000 workers earning over six figures, they found that 67 percent see themselves quitting in the next six months and 35.4 percent would actually quit a job they didn't like without another job lined up.
"The job market swings every decade between fear and greed. Currently, with more than one job open for each unemployed person, professionals have their pick of jobs to choose among," Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella tells CNBC Make It. "Very favorable employment markets, and a sense that your pot of gold is just over the rainbow, are leading many Americans to have great confidence [in] their ability to make it their own way."
It's a gamble, but it could pay off in the current labor market. Brian Kropp, vice president at research firm Gartner, says that quitting might be workers' best chance to snatch that "pot of gold" that Cenedella describes.
According to Kropp, the average increase in compensation for a worker who quits their old job for a new one in today's tight labor market is about 15 percent. "You're never going to get that 15 percent [increase] by staying at your current job," he tells CNBC Make It. "That's just not going to happen."
"One of the big things that happened during the global financial crisis is that organizations pulled out all sorts of layers of middle management, which actually makes it harder to get promoted," explains Kropp. "Simply put, there are fewer opportunities to get promoted."
Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor confirms that, in terms of labor market dynamics, now is as good a time as any to call it quits. "We're seeing high worker confidence in their ability to strike out and find a better job opportunity elsewhere," he tells CNBC Make It. "For many, it's a smart move, as there's a clear advantage to increasing your earning potential by switching jobs."
But while finding a new job right now could be a smart way to get a raise, workers still shouldn't walk out without a solid plan. Before quitting, every employee needs to consider the economic climate and their own career prospects and financial stability.
Beyond the economy, bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch says that the most important factor for an individual to consider when deciding whether or not to quit is if you're still learning and growing.
Welch tells CNBC Make It that people wait too long to quit their jobs even when they know they need to. "Have the courage to believe in yourself and your future," she says. "Most of the time — and I mean most of the time — the only thing you'll ever regret after making the leap is how long you took to do it."
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