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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You Don't Have to Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here

Note: The annual "quit rate" is the number of quits during the entire year as a percent of annual average employment, while the annual "layoff rate" is the number of layoffs and discharges during the entire year as a percent of annual average employment.

First. lets take a look at the quit rate by industry. For anyone who ever worked in the food services business (me) it isn't a surprise that leads the way, while those in the durable goods industry rarely leave (they tend to be paid quite well as compared to other opportunities of their education attainment) and stay put.

The change in the quit rate since 2006 is where things get more interesting. Outside of mining and logging, all other industries have seen the quit rate drop, and in some cases significantly (who is quitting in this environment?). Apparently those who have jobs in the information industry have extra reason to stay put.

Part of the drop in the quit rate can be explained by those laid off (if you get laid off, you can't quit). Below shows the increase in the layoff rate by industry since 2006. Construction leads the way, but mining and logging shows up #4, while it was the #1 area in which individuals quit (commodity bubble anyone?).

Unlike what we saw in mining and logging, in most instances we quitting and laying off workers has a negative correlation, but the fact that people are still more likely to quit as be laid off makes me somehow proud that even in this economic mess, we are still all self-serving capitalists...

Source: BLS