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Increase in Job Quitting - 3/27/15

It wasn’t that long ago that there were too few jobs to go around in the U.S. and that people clung to the ones they had.  That has changed.  The Labor Department recently announced that the number of people who quit their jobs rose three percent in January from December to two point eight million – that’s the most in more than six years. 

Quits have surged seventeen percent over the past year, an indication that more people are securing higher quality positions that allow them to move on.  This can make life for both small and large firms more challenging.  A recent New York Times article indicated that about eighty percent of Fortune Five Hundred companies are increasingly struggling to retain employees.  Similar forces are impacting the restaurant, retail and hotel industries. 

About a third of U.S. retail workers quit last year, up from one quarter in 2010.  Moreover, the pay for retail workers was up three point two percent in January from the year prior.  Retailers like Wal-Mart, the GAP, TJ MAXX and Marshalls and each announced pay increases in recent weeks.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.