April 11, 2007
The percentage of total separations attributable to quits has risen and fallen over time along with employment levels.
Total nonfarm employment had peaked in February 2001 at 132.6 million, and then had fallen to a low of 129.8 million in August 2003. During the same time period, the proportion of quits fell from 61 percent in February 2001 to 51 percent in August 2003. Between early 2001 and mid-2003, total separations fell by 613,000 but quits fell by a greater amount, 759,000, causing the proportion of total separations attributable to quits to fall.
The proportion of quits has since risen to 60 percent in February 2007.
These data on quits and separations are from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The above data are seasonally adjusted. Data for February 2007 are preliminary and subject to revision. Find additional information in "Job Openings and Labor Turnover: February 2007" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 07-0524.