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More workers quitting their jobs – good for the economy?

Posted on April 17th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

Recent U.S. Labor Department Statistics found that more Americans are quitting their jobs than being laid off, TheStreet reports.

Specifically, the amount of workers applying for jobless benefits has risen to 380,000, its highest levels since January. What's more, the government's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) revealed that the number of workers who left their jobs voluntarily rose to 2.1 million last month – up from the 1.8 million reported at the height of the recession in January 2009.

Is this a sign of consumer confidence, or should HR administration be worried that workers are just fed up with working longer hours for less pay?

Possibly both.

A recent paper from Edward Lazear of Stanford University and James Spletzer of the Bureau of Labor Statistics explained that people quitting jobs is important because it means churn – or the regular comings and goings of workers – is returning to pre-recession levels, The Wall Street Journal reports. The more churn, the healthier the job market.

The duo's paper found that 80 percent of the drop in hiring during the recession was due to low churn levels rather than reduced job creation.

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