The Quit Rate: Why Quitters are Good News
Great news! More people are quitting their jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the number and percentage of people quitting their jobs has been steadily rising over the past year. 1 An increasing quit rate is often considered a sign of an improving economy and job market. While the BLS is looking at a large number of workers for their report, this information could affect you very personally.
Should you be excited or concerned? That depends on a few factors:
- Do you have in-demand specialized skills? If so, congratulations! Companies ARE hiring, but mostly for specialized skills. If you don’t have the skills that are in high-demand for your field, there is no time like the present to get started. In the creative world there continues to be demand for all types of interactive skills, including web design and development, mobile experience, and online content. There are numerous formal and informal outlets for building these skills—anything from taking a class to just learning by doing on your own time. Start somewhere, and start now.
- Are you open to relocation? Companies need certain types of people in certain locations. If you’re open to relocation, even on your own dime, you may find more demand for your skill set and experience. Many companies can’t offer the rich relocation packages of the past, but the opportunity to advance your career and build your skills may be worth taking on this investment on your own.
- Are you poised and ready for a promotion? When someone else leaves, it could mean opportunity for you. Whether they’re taking another job or finally feel confident enough to retire, with the right skills you may be able to step in and fill that gap. If you see this potential on the horizon, but don’t feel ready, start filling the gaps now.
- Are you continuously building your skill set? While they are hiring, companies are not replacing lower level or less skilled positions as quickly. People who don’t have specialized or advanced skills could fall behind—yet another reason to continue to build your skill set with what is most in-demand for your field.
- Are you only working for the benefits? Regardless of whether you like the new health care law or not, it has opened up more affordable health insurance options for individuals. This means that many people who felt tied to their job for the benefits are now quitting to work independently or start their own business. Only you know if this is the right move for you!
- Ready for a raise? With more people quitting their jobs, leading to more openings, wages should start to go up. However, once again, this is weighted towards more in-demand specialized skills. Companies are willing to pay more for roles they see as critical to their success.
Whether you’re thinking about quitting your job or not, skill set consistently factors into how the rising quit rate could affect you. If you are in high demand in your field you may be courted for new jobs, more easily relocate, get promoted, or see your pay rise. Regardless of where you fit into this whole “quitting” trend, constantly and consistently stay up-to-date and ahead of the curve in your field. It will never hurt, and often helps.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, February 11, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.htm