Over half of job separations are quits

April 07, 2006

As the demand for labor continued to grow in 2005, quits as a percentage of total separations continued to climb upward steadily, reaching 58.9 percent by year’s end.

Quits as a percentage of total separations in total nonfarm employment, seasonally adjusted, 2001-05
[Chart data—TXT]

The ratio of quits to total separations helps gauge the health of the labor market by indicating employees’ confidence in their ability to change jobs.

Quits continued to compose a majority of all separations in most industries. The construction industry and the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry were the most prominent exceptions, each having appreciably more layoffs and discharges than quits in 2005.

These data are from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Learn more in "Payroll employment in 2005: recovery and expansion," by Robert P. Stephens, David Langdon, and Brady M. Stephens, Monthly Labor Review, March 2006. Separations are broken down into quits (voluntary separations), layoffs and discharges (involuntary separations), and other separations. Other separations includes retirements, transfers between establishments, and those separating because they became disabled on the job.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Over half of job separations are quits on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2006/apr/wk1/art05.htm (visited September 28, 2016).


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