/ Why the Great Resignation makes a lot of sense

Last fall, we did a post on the Great Resignation, and since it still seems to be a big deal, I thought it made sense to revisit the data and see what has happened since then.

With the power of data pipeline automation in Domo (a key foundational element to building any data app), we regularly get updated data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly survey of Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLT).

Often—and especially when something is in the news—we look at one metric in isolation. So, the first thing I did was chart both Quits (people resigning, in JOLT speak) and Job Openings. When I put it in this context (directly below), we see that while Quits are at an all-time high and growing, Job Openings are growing at an even steeper curve.

There are a few ways to think about this. On one level, when someone quits, it does create a job opening. But at the same time, when there are lots of job openings, the market becomes ripe with opportunities, so more people are likely to quit to explore those opportunities.

Sometimes when there is so much change, a new metric can be helpful. So, I created one (directly below) looking at “Quits per Job Openings,” which shows how the relationship between these two metrics is changing.

What we see here is that this metric has actually been declining. Whereas historically there have been 0.5 to 0.6 people quitting for every job opening, over the past year that number has fallen to 0.4. So, while lots of people are quitting, even more job openings are out there.

The second chart shows this metric by industry. And what we see here is that almost every industry has experienced the same trend. Even “Leisure and Hospitality,” which has the highest ratio, has dropped from 0.68 in 2020 to 0.5 so far in 2022.

Lastly, I took this new metric (“Quits per Job Openings”) and looked at it by state. (Note: While it’s April now, the state data is only updated through February.) On the map below, I look at the last year and use one of my favorite map features in Domo: diverging colors. This feature lets me show the states in two color ranges, and in this case, I have used the median as the midpoint. So, I can quickly see that New York (0.31) and Pennsylvania (0.29) have by far the lowest “Quits per Job Openings,” while Hawaii (0.47) has the highest.

One other nice thing about a ratio-based metric like this is that I can more easily roll up multiple time periods (below) since it is talking about a relative measure not an absolute. We will likely keep an eye on all of this data as we move forward—especially if people keep quitting and there continue to be so many job openings.

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