People are quitting their jobs at the fastest pace since 2001, the latest sign that employers are able to draw more from a smaller pool of potential workers.
Job-hopping rose to 3.68 percent of the working-age population, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday in a monthly survey. That measure, measuring how often workers want a different job, was at 3.43 percent in September. October’s reading was 1 percentage point above the survey’s 10-year average.
Quitting, or the “discontinuation of one job for another,” is one of the best proxies for worker confidence. Workers whose experiences are outside the norm are less likely to stay, especially in a weak labor market where companies have extra workers to pick from.
“The decline in the number of quits over the past year has been broad-based but suggests greater job-market strength across sectors, industries, and geographic areas,” Kevin Cummins, an economist at RBS Group Ltd. in Stamford, Connecticut, wrote in a research note. “Stronger labor market conditions should lead to more firms actively recruiting for and encouraging employees to leave their current job.”
The survey also showed that 26.4 percent of workers had job offers, the lowest share in the data series that goes back to 1992. While employees are more likely to be positive, an unusually large number of job offers (9.2 percent) represent job offers from several different employers. That means employers may not be as competitive in recruiting them.
This article was originally published by Bloomberg.