One of my favorite statistics pinged in today, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS released the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for December, including the quits rate. "Quits" account for people who leave a job for any reason other than retiring, being fired or dying. Essentially, it measures how willing or able people are to change jobs.
Back in December 2006, quits made up 61 percent of all changes in job status. The BLS says it's goodbye to that: "Quits dropped to only 40 percent of total separations in December 2008, a new series low, as layoffs and discharges increased substantially."
In recent months, the quits rate has been at its lowest since the government started tracking it in 2000. The rate for December ticked up a tenth of a percent to 1.5 of the workforce. (You know who never quits? The government employee, at .5 percent overall.)