June 06, 2008 (The Editor’s Desk is updated each business day.)

Quits as a percentage of separations, 2007

Quits as a percentage of total separations—an indicator of employees’ confidence in their ability to change jobs—declined in 2007 to a monthly average of 56.9 percent.

Quits as a percentage of total separations in total nonfarm employment, seasonally adjusted, 2001-07
[Chart data—TXT]

During 2007, as the economy softened, the ratio fell from a high of 59 percent early in the year to a low of 54 percent later in the year. Compared with 2006, the average monthly ratio of quits to separations in 2007 decreased for almost all industries, most notably construction.

Over the 2001 to 2007 period, the monthly ratio of quits to separations ranged from 50 percent to 61 percent.

These data are from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. To learn more, see "Job openings, hires, and turnover decrease in 2007," (PDF) by Zhi Boon, in the Monthly Labor Review, May 2008. Total separations consists of quits (voluntary separations), layoffs and discharges (involuntary separations), and other separations (such as retirements, transfers, and death).