An unconventional measure of the current healthy national job market, according to a recent report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the number of people who are voluntarily leaving their jobs.
That number is at its highest level since 2000, and, according to the BLS, shows a national confidence in current economic conditions, with most of the people going on to better-paying positions.
Altogether, more than 3.5 million people quit their jobs in May, up from 3.3 million the previous month.
The quit rate is now at 2.4 percent, which is also the largest number seen in nearly 18 years.
Those numbers, reports the BLS, come at a time when more than 900,000 new jobs in construction, manufacturing, mining, and logging have been added since January of 2017.
The Bureau is also reporting that so far for all of 2018, some 215,000 new jobs have been added per month, with the largest employment increases coming out of the education, business services, manufacturing, and health services sectors.
The report, The Employment Situation—May 2018, also notes that the unemployment rate had dropped to 4.0 percent this spring.
Even an unemployment sector that has mostly gone unchanged since the Great Recession, the number of people classified as “discouraged workers,” or those who have given up searching for work because they believe no jobs are available to them, has dropped by 155,000 this spring.
“The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the labor force,” notes the report, had not searched for work due to “school attendance or family responsibilities.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is an arm of the federal Department of Labor, tasked with collecting and analyzing job data for the American public, Congress, and a host of federal agencies.
By Garry Boulard
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