The Strategist

US Jobless are too Picky

06/08/2015 - 17:28

In March 2015, 2.8 million Americans wrote a letter of resignation on their own, although they had not been expelled.

A survey of the US unemployment shows that a small yet growing part of the people are leaving jobs on their own. The research company Harris interviewed 1553 unemployed people in April. Approximately one in five said that he wrote a letter of resignation. Their determination was fueled by reports of improving the economic situation and the deficit on the labor market.
There were 15 % of these people in the past year. And the number of laid off by employers decreased from 36% in 2014 to 28% in the current year.

The poll just scratched a surface of the American unemployment. But the state statistics says the same trend. The latest report from the Ministry of Labor on open vacancies and turnover ‘Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey’, released in mid-May, shows that 2.7 million people voluntarily quitted in February, and the March number was 2.8 million. This figure looks especially significant with regard of last year: in March 2014, 2.4 million people chose to leave their jobs.

Those who quitted in search of a better life can encounter a nasty surprise despite all the news about the labor shortage, such as a shortage of engineers and architects, says Robert Funk, the chief of Express company. Demand for workers in industries that require skilled labor is high. Programmers and accountants are still desirable, but the labor market is far from overheating in areas with less qualified workers.
- We live in the two economies at the same time, - says Funk. A labor market bubble is blown on the one side, and stays the same on the other. Companies that survived the recession are building up stuff carefully. They adhere to a different strategy - promote existing employees to improve their skills. This in turn raises the requirements for candidates and puts barriers for inexperienced applicants.

But the applicants themselves are becoming choosy in selecting the works, says Harris’ survey. Those who agree to part-time, temporary or freelance positions are harder to be found compared to the previous year. It can be concluded that people have become more confident in their abilities and feel less fear. If their confidence is justified, and they find a full-time job or permanent employment, no one of economists’ pessimistic forecasts will be justified. They say that a huge proportion of forced part-time workers (i.e. those who would be happy to work more hours but cannot find such a job) is a new reality of post-recession economy. In April 2015, these people with part-time employment amassed 6.6 million in the United States. This is much less than last year's level of 7.5 million, but still very high.
21% of the unemployed are not going to settle for wages lower than they had before. Funk reckons they should be less demanding. Employers are much more likely to entice workers from other, or hire recently lost their jobs than those who never work more than nine months. "Forget about your prudery - convinces Funk. - Arrange to work and then look for a better one. "