Maybe the Labor Market Isn’t So Tight

America’s workers are not quitters, at least not nearly as much as a few months ago.

You may recall that when the employment report came out last Friday (which did not include the quits data), economists were of two minds.  One group looked at weak job growth and said the labor market was slack.  The other group looked at the low unemployment rate and said the labor market was tight, which was why there was so little job growth–everyone was already working.

The quit data tell us that employees do not see so many good opportunities aside from their current jobs.  Although we’re still running well above the low point in 2003, were significantly below the recent peak in March of this year.

Business Strategy Implications:  I’ve been saying that labor markets are tight and employers need to think about employee retention.  It now appears that the need is less urgent, but it’s still good business practice to try to reduce turnover.  It reduces the need for pay raises, it lowers operational costs, and it improves quality.  I’m not the expert on how to do this, but I’ve compiled resources for the business leader who wants to learn how to reduce turnover.