More people are quitting their jobs
And that's a good thing. But be careful when jumping ship, an expert warns, because 'one false move could cost you.'
By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch
American workers may be gradually showing more confidence about quitting their jobs and taking that long-delayed retirement, data released Tuesday suggests, but experts say restless employees and would-be retirees shouldn't write their resignation letters just yet.
The percentage of U.S. workers who voluntarily left their jobs hit 1.7 percent in December, little changed from 1.8 percent in November, but still higher than the recent low of 1.2 percent in September 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday.A high "churn" or quit rate often means there are better job opportunities opening up -- and more opportunities for those seeking their first job. "But you have to be sure footed when you move," says Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. "This is an economy where one false move could cost you."
There were about 4.4 million so-called separations in December 2013, up slightly from 4.3 million in November; this is still down from 5.1 million in 2006, but a vast improvement on 3.9 million separations in 2011 at the height of the recession.
The U.S. has a higher churn rate than most Western economies, Carnevale says, mostly because job stability isn't associated with wage growth. But he advises people to be careful about where they go. "Upward mobility in the American economy is most strongly associated with movement rather than promotion," he says.
The latest data shows more people are starting to find better opportunities and are in a better position to retire, says Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com, a personal-finance research and publishing company. It shows they've landed a higher-paying and more suitable job, he says.
Indeed, 22 percent of people feel more secure about their job security today versus last year, while 64 percent feel the same and only 14 percent feel less secure, according to Bankrate’s latest Financial Security Index. "This area has shown notable improvement over the last couple of years; 2013 was a turning point," he says.
Age also plays a big factor in the decision to make a move. "Staying with our current jobs long-term isn't necessarily a good thing for those under 30," says Corie Whalen, spokesperson for Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit think tank based in Arlington, Va. Many are stuck in part-time work and are overqualified, she says.
If you are in your mid-40s, move sooner rather than later, Carnavale says. "If you’ve been at your company for 15 years, a lot of that knowledge isn't transferable. You may have all your company’s history and personalities in your head, but that has no value across the street."
Still, some experts don’t advise jumping ship just yet. The decision depends on your profession and education level, says Edison Byzyka, vice president of investments at Hefty Wealth Partners, Inc. in Auburn, Ind.
"Given the fact that employers are reluctant to pick up on hiring relative to pre-recessionary levels, it doesn't seem to be the ideal time," he says. U.S. payrolls rose by 113,000 in January after rising just 75,000 in December, the Labor Department announced last week, marking the slowest two months of job growth in three years.
"What we have is a tale of two Americas," says Peter Morici, economist and professor at the University of Maryland's R.H. Smith School of Business. "It's not the Wall Street bankers versus everyone else -- it's the middle class versus the working class." Better jobs are still thin on the ground for the latter, he says.
Last week, 55 percent of Americans said the economy was getting worse, while only 39 percent thought it was getting better, according to the “Gallup Economic Confidence Index,” based on a poll of 3,500 adults nationwide; 37 percent of Americans called the economy poor, while only 18 percent rated it as good or excellent.
However, the news is better for those who have been putting retirement off since 2008, says Michael Mussio, portfolio manager at investment adviser FBB Capital in Bethesda, Md. "People are regaining confidence as their net worth rebounds," he says. His clients expect 60 percent to 70 percent of their income to come from their investments and the rest from pensions.
Since bottoming out at 6,548 on March 9, 2009, the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) have risen more than 140 percent. Many boomers, however, remain skittish: 18 percent of those aged 50 to 64 are less secure this year than last versus 6 percent of those aged 18 to 29.
Retirees are also taking heart from a recovering housing market. Home prices rose by around 12 percent in 2013, according to real estate website Trulia. Some 9.3 million U.S. homes were "deeply underwater" at the end of 2013, meaning the owner owes 25 percent or more than the home’s estimated market value; that's down from 10.9 million the year before and 12.5 million in January 2012.
"But it all boils down to your financial preparedness," McBride says. "If you have no money saved, you're not going to retire, even if you were planning to retire five years ago."
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With each increasing 'news' article that MSN posts.. I keep wondering WHERE they
get their info and statistics????? Leaving their jobs? Because they 'want to'? I
might have been born in the afternoon-- but it wasn't THIS afternoon!
People quitting their jobs is not "good news", what a twisted concept. Everyone I know that quits is either fed up with getting treated like a dog or sick of giving up benefits, hours and pay for Corporate Greed. "Good news" would be people happy with their jobs, it would be new BETTER jobs created, it would be the ONSHORING of offshored jobs.
By this twisted logic, next you'll tell us death and war are also "good news".
Many Americans are being forced into retirement, not choosing to retire. The truth in this article is near the end in "a tale of two Americas" and the "only 18 percent rated it (the economy) as good or excellent."
Whenever these folks start touting the recovery of the stock market it reminds us that the same people who ran the market and "lost billions" in the '08/09 crash are still in (and running) the stock market and are still millionaires! If you look closely they are the same who "lost billions" on "" crash of '87. At that time the DOW was at 2700! Today it's almost 16,000! Do you think there is some air in there? You think it might be a rigged game?
We have to pass the bill before you can see what's in it, and if you want to keep your healthcare, you can.
Yea we should all retire go on food stamps welfare and Obama-care and spend our days playing Polo, and vacationing in Monte Carlo.
Better yet why even bother going to school and trying to get a job, just retire at 18 and Obama will pay all your bills.
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