An economist shares that the economy is “growing” and people are changing jobs

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A recent report shows that a record number of workers are quitting their jobs across the country. But the numbers also show that even more people are being “hired” for a net “gain” in job growth. There’s a lot of movement right now in the labor force and we talked about it with ASU Economist, Lee McPheters.

“We have been watching over the past 5 or 6 months that quit rates are really almost 50% higher than they have been…so we know the ‘what’ and we’re tracking those numbers. About 4 million people in August quit at the national level, about 90,000 in Arizona,” McPheters said.

He continued that, “what is a little more allusive is the ‘why’ and then there’s kind of the issue of when is this going to end.”

McPheters says that him and his colleagues have different perspectives as to why this is happening.

“I think I would have to say is most of them are right in that there’s a whole host of factors at work here. But what we do know is that at the same time that people are quitting, people are being hired. For example, at the national level, we had 4 million quits, we had 6 million hires, so the economy is growing,” McPheters said.

And within the state we’ve had 90,000 quits but we had about 130,000 hires.

“A lot of this quitting is through change from one job to another and presumably people are choosing those job options that are better for them either in working conditions, wages or whatever. So, we’re seeing quite a bit of job switching and that’s just because the economy is really in kind of a come back mode…it’s continuing to grow and labor has somewhat of an advantage now,” McPheters said.

Lee McPheters, Research Professor of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, ASU

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