One of my favorite data points came in today: The "quits rate" dropped .1 percent in January, says the Bureau of Labor statistics. That means fewer people are voluntarily leaving jobs — whether to sail around the world or to take another gig. In this lay-off economy, it appears, fewer of us are willing to trade seniority in a current job for opportunity in a new one. From the BLS:
The quits rate can serve as a barometer of workers' willingness or ability to change jobs. Although the quits rate was essentially unchanged in January at 1.5 percent, the rate was at the lowest point in the 8-year series.
Quits have been trending downward since December 2006, declining by 1.2 million, or 37 percent, in that time. Comparing January 2009 to January 2008, the quits rate was significantly lower for total nonfarm and total private, in most industries, and in all four regions. The rate was essentially unchanged in mining and logging; transportation, warehousing, and utilities; information; and other services. The rate did not rise significantly in the past 12 months in any industry or region.
On the other hand, they're jamming the roads for a job fair in Greater Cleveland — where the unemployment rate has been outpacing the national average.