Quitting was the surest way for workers to get a raise in 2018. Slow wage growth and a tight labor market meant that workers had a better chance of increasing their earnings by leaving their current job for a new one, despite an otherwise healthy labor market.
"For any type of employment search, you won't find a better time than right now," Thomas Moran, CEO of staffing agency Addison Group tells CNBC Make It.
Brian Kropp, vice president at research firm Gartner, largely echoes Moran's outlook, pointing to strong job growth and low unemployment. "For most employees, you couldn't have imagined a better year than 2018 on most, but not all, dimensions," Kropp tells CNBC Make It. "On the surface, it seems like it was a great year for employees. However, what we still didn't see in 2018 was any real significant increase in wage rates."
Wages are currently growing just 1 percent faster than inflation but the average increase in compensation for a worker who quits their old job for a new one is about 15 percent. "You're never going to get that 15 percent [increase] by staying at your current job," says Kropp. "That's just not going to happen."
"For many, [quitting] is a smart move, as there's a clear advantage to increasing your earning potential by switching jobs," Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, tells CNBC Make It.