Despite the unemployment rate holding near 9 percent for over 2 years, American employees are demonstrating increased confidence in their ability to find new jobs, as nearly 2 million left their positions in May, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
“When the economy is rebounding, workers are more likely to quit their jobs to take another,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates, told the news source. He indicated that the willingness to seek new work is a sign that employees are more confident the overall economy as well as the job market.
While Brown told Businessweek that consumer confidence and employee departures had not fully recovered to pre-recession levels, he also noted that employees’ frustration with their work tends to grow as the economy improves.
Brown also noted that employees may take cues from their colleagues, leading to further job switching. The May rate of quits is significantly higher than the most recent low, which was 1.5 million in January of 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Quitting due to frustration may be a sign of stress or dissatisfaction in current jobs as well as confidence in alternate job prospects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that many companies run corporate wellness programs to decrease employee stress and reduce health benefit costs, which some research indicates may improve employee performance.