Folks Are Feeling Confident; Resignations Topped Layoffs In February

In a truly awful job market, employees will put up with all manner of indignities managers subject them to. When things are OK, people start to stand up for themselves and walk away, confident in their prospects. That’s why it may be good news for the economy that the number of people who quit their jobs surpassed the amount of layoffs in February.

CNBC cites the government’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which says quitters made up 51 percent of total job separations that month. The last time quitters were more numerous than layoff victims was September 2008.

Combined with the fact that jobless claims matched their lowest point in four years, perhaps the jobs market is creeping back up toward respectability. Maybe pay raises and respect from superiors will follow along at some point.

‘Shove It’ Indicator: More People Now Quit Than Get Fired [CNBC]


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  1. tbax929 says:

    “Maybe pay raises and respect from superiors will follow along at some point.” I certainly hope so. I love my job and am well paid, but I haven’t had a raise of more than 0.5% since I started here in January 2010.

    I think some companies are using the economy as an excuse to demand more work from their employees for less pay. While I don’t want to leave my job, I’d like to stop feeling as if the powers that expect me to just be happy to have one.

  2. clippy2.0 says:

    Hopefully this will make all those “lets see the true unemployment numbers” folks shut the fuck up

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    This survey must have been performed in
    Washington D.C. where everyone is confident all of the time.

    For some reason.

  4. Sian says:

    The other possible scenario here is that employers are testing how much BS they can actually get away with before their employees choose unemployment over putting up with it.

    • firedancerbk says:


    • u1itn0w2day says:

      The writing’s on the wall. This crap stinks. Hint hint.

      I think many can see a no win situation miles away along with keeping their reference status at a bare minimum pass.

    • DarthCoven says:

      I thought you don’t get unemployment if you quit. Don’t you have to get laid off/fired in order to collect?

      • pythonspam says:

        There are some exceptions for voluntary quitters, such as hostile or dangerous work environments, new impositions of mandatory overtime for salaried folks, etc.

  5. PhiTauBill says:

    Interesting assumption made by the author that it is a sign that people are “confident in their prospects” of finding another job. Or it could be that they have already found another job, and are therefore quitting to take that new job? Still a good sign regardless, but seems to be a point lost both in the original story and Phil’s summary.

    • clippy2.0 says:

      That would be the same thing no? If one company is losing an employee because of the employees choice, and that employee made the choice based on their ability to get new employment, the story is the same; hiring is picking up, and employees are seeing that

      • ARP says:

        Given that quitters are 51%, I think that’s the case. If it were some paltry numbers, I would say that’s natural turnover. I think I saw it here, but there were a few surveys done that show there is a MASSIVE pent up demand for job switching (how strange, people don’t like being treated like crap, while the company is making good profits and paying the executives handsomely) ; I wonder if this is the beginning of that.

  6. aleck says:

    I am glad that the job market is turning back to being the sellers’ market and management can’t use “just be glad you still have a job” as an excuse to treat employees like crap.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      I hope so. So many companies have been treating their employees like total crap since the recession started. Hopefully it is time for some payback. Apparently my company is one that hasn’t learned, as we just had yet another round of layoffs, despite record profits. The “Be thankful you still have a job” attitude of senior management is still in full swing.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Agreed. I’m sick of hearing “if you don’t like it, quit. There are 100 people lined up out there who would take your job in a heartbeat”. My dream is to find a better paying job, give my two week’s notice, and GTFO.

  7. GundamAC197 says:

    I feel like this is a little optimistic…it’s JUST as good an indicator that employees are reaching their bullshit saturation point as working conditions get more and more stressful to cope with the current financial situation.

    The writing is on the wall for a layoff at my office, and every day I think of quitting. Not because I’m optimistic of my other prospects but just because *I’ve had enough.* Getting out seems like it’s worth losing the severance.

  8. u1itn0w2day says:

    So much for hr logic finding the ultimate employee that will never leave the company.

  9. Pagan wants a +1 button says:

    I’m curious about the stats of companies who have filed bankruptcy during this same timeframe. I know of one here in town; the employees were quietly told a couple of months ago that they would be “well served” to be looking for something else. When they find it, they do resign.

  10. Jer in Denver says:

    Free tips for all companies trying to find that ‘ultimate employee’.

    1) Give the employee a share of the success — pay him what he’s worth.
    2) Keep his pay in line with the industries pay for such a job. This includes pay raises.
    3) Treat him like a person and not an expense.
    4) Realize without him, you have no success.

    And while you’re at it, consider that your customers are just as important as your employees. Don’t screw them over either. For you have just as much success (none) without customers as you do without employees.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      HRs might say they’re looking for the best/ultimate employee but in reality they are looking to cover their butts if someone does leave wasting everyones time including their employer’s. They realize people will leave so they make sure THEY have the best rationalizations for hiring who they do. “Oh but they were the best candidate(the candidate least likely to leave)-lol.

    • Bort says:

      In theory this is how perfect economics is supposed to work, in reality its only veneer for those who want to achieve power over others.

  11. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Good. If they quit I can apply for their jobs. It’s pretty slim pickings around here still if you have trouble with accounting.

  12. WB987 says:

    I quit earlier this month because we were so far apart on what I felt I should be paid and what the company wanted to pay. Yesterday, I was asked by that same company if I was interested in contracting work because they were overwhelmed, paying two people more money to get less productivity out of them than I produced.

    Pay your workhorses, companies. Anybody with any amount of self-respect isn’t going to grind themselves to dust for nothing and thank you for the privilege of simply having a job.

    • consumerd says:

      Sounds like they want the bottom line…. if I was you I would just get out at that point. I had a former employer like that. They hired me and gave the top guy a $2/hr raise just so there was some separation between us. No wonder he was happy to get a payraise! he was making what I started out making.

  13. Robofish says:

    Wish I could say the same :(. My department is getting laid off. All 20 of us by the end of the month

    • BobOki says:

      Welcome to my world. The company i work for is being given the heave ho and an Indian company being brought in to do all the IT. They have no idea how to do any of the work, how to run any of the systems, and want us existing people to write down money instructions on how to do our jobs. Right, VMWare and SAN monkey instructions for a 500+ server enviroment , you are kidding me right?