Voluntary Quits Dipped in September

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New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that voluntary quits among tech pros declined in September, with 489,000 opting to leave their jobs. That’s in contrast to August, when 516,000 parted ways with their current employers.

In the third quarter of 2015, an average of 499,300 tech pros quit every month. The BLS relies on its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) program to come up with the data about voluntary quits.

Pundits and analysts treat voluntary quits as an indicator of broader economic health. A half-million voluntary quits per month suggests that employees feel confident enough about their industry to leave their current jobs in favor of better opportunities at other employers. Their departures might also tie into freelance opportunities; according to recent survey data by Upwork and the Freelancers Union, freelancers are also enjoying high rates of pay.

The tech industry’s current unemployment rate stands at 2.8 percent, outperforming the broader U.S. economy, where the rate is 5.0 percent. While that’s strong, not all tech sectors are performing equally; for example, the data processing, hosting, and related services segment lost jobs, while consulting and manufacturing both gained jobs.

As with all things tech, though, the employment trends for specific segments could change over the next few quarters, as companies ramp up (or gear down) hiring in response to seasonal and industry trends.

Image Credit: Nokz/Shutterstock.com

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One Response to “Voluntary Quits Dipped in September”

November 15, 2015 at 12:11 pm, ReVeLaTeD said:

This should not be surprising. Freelance and/or consulting work is more flexible and less demanding. Many industries can benefit from these; I speak from experience. However, the main trigger for this is business ignorance.

A C level doesn’t properly do the math with respect to IT. There’s more to it than just developing software to replace bodies. You’re not making work go away; you’re actually making the work more expensive.

Example:
If you have 40 Customer Service reps each making $30k/year – which is a lot – and you build an IVR system that allows you to cut half of them, that’s $600k/year you save…right? No.

Developer – $100k-$150k/year. Times however many developers. They have to build it, they have to constantly improve and refine it, etc.

Project Manager – $120k/year at the peak.

Business Analyst – $80k/year.

Support Staff – $40k/year.

So really, in the first year alone, you might very well be in the red. If the development has to be enhanced or changed – as they often do – you’ll stay in the red.

On the other hand, if you have the same 40 CS reps who waste 6 out of every 8 hours because of inefficient systems, that alone is $900k/year of waste. Building or improving a system to help alleviate that waste and implementing time measurement solutions to identify the bottom performers will have a more significant gain over time, at a fraction of the expense involved in trying to cut staff.

Many IT workers are not interested in working for employers that are short-sighted, and just want systems built to replace humans. It’s not the answer – except in situations where the activity really should have been done by a tool in the first place (reminders, for example).

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