Fewer People Quitting Their Jobs, Labor Department Finds

March 2024
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Americans quit 6.1 million fewer jobs in 2023 than in 2022, a decline of 12%, the Labor Department said in January. 

As The Wall Street Journal reported, fewer resignations could mean workers are less confident in their ability to find new jobs, or that they’ve become more content in their current roles. 

The total number of job resignations declined to 44.5 million in 2023, from 50.6 million in 2022, which was the highest on record. Fewer people leaving their jobs is a turnaround from the pandemic years, when resignations surged and companies faced labor shortages.

In recent months, potential job seekers have seen news of high-profile layoffs (in technology and media, for example), smaller pay raises and sharp declines in hiring in certain industries. Despite pockets of weakness, unemployment reached a historically low rate of 3.7% at the end of 2023. 

Still, it’s taking longer for Americans to find new jobs. According to a recent LinkedIn survey, most workers are thinking about changing jobs this year, but many are not finding opportunities. At the same time, fewer people quitting their jobs will limit how fast wages grow, as companies face less pressure to attract and retain workers, said Brett Ryan, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. 

The rate at which employers have hired new workers has fallen below pre-pandemic levels. Companies appear to be keeping their current employees but not hiring new ones, economists said. Despite some notable job cuts, layoffs have also fallen compared to before the pandemic began.

Return to Current Issue Employee Engagement | March 2024
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