Friday, February 4, 2011

We Quit! and high unemployment but job openings?

No, Brooke and I aren't quitting the blog. On the contrary, we're bringing you even more news this Friday! An increasing number of workers are voluntarily separating from their employers though. A story from ABC News discusses Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers of workers leaving jobs voluntarily and those departing due to layoffs. For four consecutive months, the ranks of those who voluntarily left jobs exceeded those who were laid off.

According to Bureau of Labor economist John Wohlford, the number quitting is an indication of worker confidence. Job insecurity may be dissipating. We generally don't leave a job unless we think we can find another, and don't leave a good job unless we think we can find a better one.

The full story provides more information, including the importance that workers place on salary (it's not #1) compared with other factors in the workplace.

A second story from the Washington Post discusses a contradiction in the economy that's occurring in areas across the U.S. Many places with high unemployment also have thousands of job openings.

How can this be?

Economists say that the recession accelerated the decline of some industries, such as housing construction, as others that require far different skills, including health care, emerged stronger. Many of the job openings are not a good fit for those who are out of work.

The article uses Fresno, California as an example. Unemployment there hovers at 16.9 percent, but managers at the 7,000-employee Community Medical Centers say they cannot find enough qualified technicians, therapists, or even custodians willing and able to work with medical waste.

Between July 2009 and November 2010, the number of job openings nationwide increased from 2.3 million to 3.2 million.

Get more details in the full story.

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