May 3, 2022

Take This Job And Shove It...

There is a revolution going on in the American workplace. People are quitting. That's right they are leaving their employment. Often for better positions elsewhere. Sometimes, just to quit.

And not just a few are leaving. We're on track once again this year to have over 4 million people leave their jobs. That's the same as the number of people who live in Los Angeles.

In just a few minutes we will get the latest reading on the JOLTS Quit numbers. The JOLTS Reports are a series of reports, produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that tracks the number of people each month who leave their jobs.

For most of the history of this report, it began back in 2000. The Jolts Quits report was a steady, unnoticed report. That few economists bothered to look at. Because it was always little changed.

But all that began to change just after the Great Financial Crisis of 2008-09. Now in tough financial times, people generally do not change jobs. They stay in the one they have not wanted to move during a recession. And that was true back then. In fact only 1.5 million changed jobs in 2010. The year after the recession.

But from then on, it was Katy bar the door. Quits doubled by 2018 to 3 million quits.

That is until this most recent spat of quits.

By December of last year, we've gone from that 3 million level to now 4 1/2 million quits.

Imagine, that's more people quitting their jobs, that live in Los Angeles, California. The nation's second largest city.

Walked off, resigned, said "so long."

And for industry and business this is a tremendous blow to productivity. Management must now find a replacement, train them and bring them up to performance level.

It's not an easy task.

As consumers, we see this trend almost everyday. From those “help wanted” signs displayed everywhere. To the rookie UPS driver in training, sitting next to a weary managers. To the McDonald's cashier, asking how to ring up your cup of coffee.

The cost of replacement and retraining is profound. Often cutting productivity in half. As now two people are doing the work of just one.

And I can't help but feel that this is all driven by a terrible angst among those employed. A feeling that they just can't seem to get ahead. That the seemingly endless rise in the cost of living. Translates into a need to change to something better.

Take that other job, just because it pays more.

Or in the case of some enterprising workers, change the company you work for. That seems to be what Amazon is facing. As workers there, are looking to Unionize. A quick skimming of their website: Amazon Labor Union dot org. Reveals a determined group of employees who aren't going to stop until they achieve their goals. And Amazon becomes a Union Shop.

Whatever the reasons, the simple fact is that across the country people are leaving their current position. Often for what they perceive as a better opportunity. And the ramifications are indeed profound.

In just a few minutes the latest JOLTS report will likely show that once again we're on track to have another 4 million quit their job this year.