Number Of Americans Quitting Their Jobs Surges To Highest In 16 Years

Tyler Durden's picture

While too backward looking to be actionable (it reflects the labor situation with a 2 month delay) especially in a time when everyone is focused on the future of Trump's fiscal policies (whose details remain secret), today's JOLTs report showed few changes for "Janet Yellen's favorite labor market indicator": following a comprehensive data revision, the number of job openings rebounded to 5.626 million, beating expectations of a 5.45 million print, after missing estimates for two consecutive months, and higher from last month's upward revised 5.539 million. The job openings rates as a % of total employment remained unchanged at 3.7%. As shown in the chart below, job opening have remained in a tight range around 5.6 million for the past year, peaking at 5.8 million last July.

What is more interesting perhaps is that one of our favorite charts, the cumulative 12 month addition in payrolls relative to hires shows that after 7 years, the implied gap appears to have been finally filled, as hires are finally at the level where they should have been based on payrolls.

Rising from 5.303 million to 5.440 million, the level of hiring in
January was just shy of its all time highs. As a percentage basis, the
rate of hiring rose from 3.6% to 3.7%.

But the most interesting data point in today's JOLTS report was the the surge in quits, the so-called "take your job and shove it indiactor", which in January soared by 135K people voluntarily leaving their jobs, the biggest monthly increase since December 2015, which in turn pushed the total number of Americans quitting their jobs in the month to 3.22 million, a level not seen since January 2001.

Finally looking at the Beveridge curve shows that despite the recent normalization in hiring, and the spike in quits, there is still a major disconnect between the pre and post-crisis labor market.

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JRobby's picture

Good news for the people who have been looking for years AND haven't died yet.

Make no mistake about it, 2007/2008 and the aftermath was a designed tactic to kill you, force you out of your home, break up families and push a large part of the middle class out of home ownership.

Of course this effect has stressed the healthcare system immensly which IS WHY we got OBAMACARE. 

Of course OBAMACARE began it's road to rapid insovency the first day it "insured" people (I won't use the word "citizen" here) and $$$ was stolen from Fannie & Freddie to keep OBAMACARE afloat AND decrease mortgage availability.


StackShinyStuff's picture

Soon to followed by graph of "Those who regret quitting their jobs"

NugginFuts's picture

Just curious if anyone knows the answer to this - how many of these "quits" are people actually retiring? Where I work, there's a huge wave of people hitting retirement age and tapping out. Is that recorded as "quitting" or some other metric?

Han Cholo's picture

Same with my company. Within 4 more years, 50% of the workforce will be retiring from this place.

Shitty news is, they are all pensioners while us new dawgs are 401K. 

I am in a good field for work, the company can be sold but they can't really replace us worker bee's, simply too much work.

Jim Sampson's picture

These "retirees" are going to be FUCKED here soon and are going to have to walk back in with their tail between their legs and beg for half pay.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


Get phys, hold phys, love phys.

NugginFuts's picture

Found my answer at the site:

Separations: Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations  

due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm. 


So yeah, this could be folks retiring in January. If you do a search on "retirements in January", you'll discover that they are extremely elevated. In short, this isn't a sign of a strengthening market where job mobility is increasing - it's old farts retiring so they can start drawing down on their pensions and 401k savings. 

Bullish, right?

Trucker Glock's picture
  • Quits: Employees who left voluntarily. Exception: retirements or transfers to other locations are reported with Other Separations.
Oldwood's picture

So, what you are saying is that I will have to wait until NEXT January before I can retire?

ThisIsMadness's picture

These are companies are outsourcing to India or Mexico. They are offering packages or early retirement. Either way, they are not just up and quitting or retiring. OR people see the writing on the wall, and are finding jobs elsewhere.

CJgipper's picture

I'm betting it's illegals on fake SS numbers getting caught up.

JRobby's picture

There are drugs and or supplements one can take to make even the most psychotic boss tolerable or even downright entertaining!

Don't forget your handy smart phone camera!!!!

William Dorritt's picture

25-40 million illegal free loaders kills the medical system

Exporting 70,000 factories and 5 nil unemployed kills the med systems

Bankster rape of the middle class and pension plans kills

Dr. Engali's picture

It's easy to say fuck it when there is another part time bartender position right down the corner. 

buzzsaw99's picture

lots of people look at the stock market and say fuck this, take the money and run!

SheepDog-One's picture

Not too surprising to me since I know the avg worker today is doing the job of 2 people, maybe even 3 or 4!

economessed's picture

...and why is it that these "leaving the labor force" results only show people leaving the private sector?  Why can't we get tens of thousands of goverment parasites to quit their jobs and vacate their extra-cushy entitlements?

Oldwood's picture

Uh, I wonder. My personal experience as an employer that THAT is NOT true. Further, as I am in a lot of large corporate headquarters, those places are as quiet as a tomb and it is hard to find ANYONE who looks like they are actually doing something. When you see the massive number of people "working" at these corporations and wonder "what do they all do" and then you see massive layoffs and they are still doing whatever these corporations do. And it's really funny when you think about it...people complain that after layoffs they are doing three other people's jobs.....which only tells me that they were all substantially operating well below their capacity in the first place. Somehow we have gotten the notion that we are only paid to do half or a third...or even less, of what our actual capacity is.

Become self employed and see how far you get operating at one third capacity. 


buzzsaw99's picture

wow, a hyperlink. skynet is learning at a geometric rate. lulz

City_Of_Champyinz's picture

Please just go the fuck away with your retarded shitbag website link spamming.  Asshole.

hotrod's picture

Where my son works 2 people left over the last 6 months and he now does their jobs and putting in 60 hour weeks.  He hopes they will rehire but they are sure using him in the interim.  They did give him a $4000 raise in December.  Drop $120000 in expenses and pay a raise to some sucker.  Oh well.

Teja's picture

An IT guy who lived in the US for 6 years told me yesterday that one of the reasons manufacturing is leaving the U.S. is that they don't find enough qualified engineers to watch over production workers any more. In China, millions of them, may be not top dog, but good enough.

But at least you got enough lawyers, real estate guys, marketing specialists and finance experts. Nothing can go wrong, best people to MAGA.

Provocateur's picture

Quit my 6 figure engineering job recently at 52.  Hated my bosses.  Hated paying taxes up the wazoo. Now I'm "poor", pay no taxes, living on ACA, and happier than I've ever been in my life. I went Galt

LawOfBass's picture

Happened to a friend of mine.  It sucks but the arlternative sucks even more.  That person works @ F Mac or Mae. 

Goibhniu's picture

Retired at 55. Hated the scum. Really hated the scum. Still hate the scum. get over it already.

Joe Cool's picture

Boomers are getting old....They're quiting....Millennials just quit....Us xer's quit a lot of jobs back in the day....Not so much anymore...

FreeShitter's picture

All the millenials want to be rappers, ballers, or tattoo artists

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

All the millenials want to be rappers, ballers, or tattoo artists

they want to be billionaire philantropist...

they THINK they know how to do the philantropist and just have no idea how to get a billion...

Cognizant Millennial's picture

Hey now...some of us work for a living.


Dozens of us!

Countrybunkererd's picture

dozens of yours, dozens of mine, dozens of boomers, and soon you get real unemployment numbers that us few dozen of us have to pay for.  I feel bad for millenials who want to work, i really do, x'ers like me got screwed bad by the boomers and kind and couldn't change the system but y' is just sad for all of us though.

RabbitChow's picture

I imagine that these figures includes people retiring.  

silverer's picture

I'd like to see the demographic and geographic breakdown on that.

Seasmoke's picture

Can't say I blame anyone. Not willing to work for slave wages. And not willing to buy Chinese plastic crap. Bravo !!

Oldwood's picture

As a small employer who has employees who evidently believe that profits have NOTHING to do with THEIR productivity, I'm ready to QUIT and tell them to choke on their unemployment. I would rather live in a cardboard box than continue to take responsibility for their indifference to my customers. 

vulcanraven's picture

As a business owner, you really get a chance to see just how much people overvalue themselves, don't you?

Oldwood's picture

We are ALL pretty proud of ourselves. It just drives me crazy that somehow we have evolved into these pampered puppies that recoil at the notion that we might actually have to work....and worse still STRESS over our work....I mean like really GIVE A SHIT. It is an imposition for an employee to feel that they are to actually have RESPONSIBILITY and when it is forced upon them they typically have TWO responses. The first is to freak the fuck out, lock up and then proceed to do NOTHING out of avoidance, or else to barrel in and deliberately fuck it all to hell as retribution and as a means to PROVE their POWER. 

The foundation of life on this planet has ALWAYS been struggle and this Utopian bullshit belief that because we have smart phones we just don't have to try that hard anymore is simply suicide. Technology is but another tool, but what we are ultimately paid for is not so much labor as taking responsibility to GET THINGS DONE. Technology is NOT just another excuse for doing nothing. Actually it is a challenge to do MORE.

All of this is a generalization I know, but it is not untrue for many many instances....and as we know, we all here are the EXCEPTION to the rule!

Thaxter's picture

If you hire workers over 50 you might find better outcomes. Older workers are comfortable with responsibility and are used to it.

Dr. Engali's picture

Everyone is busy making $7000 a month sitting at home in their pajamas. All they did is went to to get started.

Consuelo's picture



Nah --


They're $monetizing their blogs and creating programs to show you & I how to do the same...    

Brought to you by:   WINNING...!!!

bamawatson's picture

damn, you solved my problem, have barely been making only $5,000 per month. Been wondering why. Now i see, it is pajamas; one must sit sround in pajamas; i have been sitting in dirty undershorts. Thanks for the tip !

Oldwood's picture

The American dream that turns into a nightmare, the "something for nothing" that always leads to disaster and the demand that the lying scoundrels be hung from the nearest tree. If evolution were a FACT, you would thing we would eventually LEARN that there IS no something for nothing. We ain't there yet.

Mexican Princess's picture

It's bad news, and even worse as The U.S Dollar is set to fall considerably lower still:

Sir Raisin's picture

How much of this can be attributed to Baby Boomers cashing in their asset bubble investments and retiring?

hotrod's picture

I THINK the market has had a huge impact on leaving. The day it crashes though.

Joe Cool's picture

Ya...I'm sure it's a factor....If you're born in say 1950....Well 67 you are....

Many of these jobs that boomers are leaving behind i'm sure aren't being refilled or it's much less vacancy available....For sure....