When there is plenty, one can afford to be picky. That seems to be the case in the job market right now. A report by the Labor Department suggests that a large number of workers in the US are quitting their jobs for better prospects. This suggests there are enough and more jobs available in the market for every unemployed person.
The report showed the job openings and labor turnover figures for May. During May, the number of job openings came down to 6.6 million from the 6.8 million level in April. The rate of job openings stood at 4.3%. There was little change in the number of job openings in the government sector whereas the private sector saw a slight decrease.
The number of hires and separations saw little change during the month. Total hires were 5.8 million while total separations, also known as turnover, came in at 5.5 million. The hires rate stood at 3.9% while the separations rate was 3.7%. Total separations comprise of quits, layoffs and other forms of exits such as transfers, retirement, and death.
In May, the total number of quits increased to 3.6 million, and the quits rate came to 2.4%. This was higher than 3.3 million in April and was also the highest level seen over the past 17 years. The rise in the quit rate is indicative of confidence on the part of employees that there are better jobs out there which allows them to move on without worry.
In May, the total number of quits increased to 3.6 million, and the quits rate came to 2.4%
In May, the number of jobs at 6.6 million exceeded the number of unemployed people at 6.1 million. The tightening of the labor market is likely to lead to a rise in wages. Since growth in income leads to an increase in inflation, policymakers are likely to keep an eye out for this trend.
The number of quits saw little change in the government sector but increased in the private sector. The increases were seen mainly in the healthcare, finance and transportation industries. The total number of layoffs and discharges were 1.6 million at a rate of 1.1%. The total number of other separations remained relatively unchanged at 320,000.
The rise in employment is evident when the number of hires surpasses the number of separations. According to the report, over the 12 months ended May, total hires were 66.4 million while total separations were 63.9 million, resulting in a net employment gain of 2.5 million.