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Great Lakes states have relatively low job resignation rates

(The Center Square) – Job resignation rates are relatively low in the Great Lakes states compared with the rest of the nation, WalletHub reported Wednesday.

Wisconsin (10th), Michigan (11th), Iowa (12th), Minnesota (14th) and Illinois (15th) had among the 15 lowest resignation rates in the nation.

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the report found that in the last month, Iowa tied for the fourth-lowest resignation rate, 2.1%. Vermont, Virginia, Maine, California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania also had that rate. Only Massachusetts (1.5%), New Jersey (1.8%) and District of Columbia and New York (each at 1.9%) had lower rates. Along with New Hampshire, Michigan and Wisconsin had past-month resignation rates of 2.2%. Illinois and Minnesota had 2.3%. Kentucky had the highest past-month resignation rate (3.6%).

Still, Iowa’s past-year resignation rate was 2.73%, which was around the median rate for states. New York had the lowest resignation rate (1.8%) while Alaska had the highest (4.24%). Minnesota and Illinois were in the top 10 for lowest past-year resignation rates, with 2.44% and 2.46%, respectively. Wisconsin’s was 2.48%, and Michigan’s was 2.49%.

Nationally, job openings have surged, and some employers are having trouble filling their open positions, the report said.

University of Michigan, Flint Human Resources Management Professor Brian Blume said employers increasingly will need to monitor job satisfaction and understand how to retain high performers. Promotional opportunities, interesting projects, and an exciting culture and vision may help.

Iowa State University Department of Economics Professor and Chair Joshua Rosenbloom said in the report that the layoffs and early retirement associated with the pandemic contributed to the current tightness in the labor market. Remote work’s been a factor in employees’ decision on where to live and how they work, which has led to turnover, too. Employers are struggling to attract workers, and the rise in wages and bonuses for new employees is one reason why workers are leaving jobs, he said.

“But it has also made it hard for employers to meet demand,” he said. “To some extent, employers want to avoid making permanent commitments to higher wages if the current conditions are temporary, so they may be expanding supply less and raising prices more.”

He said the people who left the labor force might stay out, reducing output, but a strong market pulls in younger workers and creates opportunities to build human capital and advance, which benefits the economy.

“Some of the workers who exited the labor force might return, especially as stock market values and retirement accounts values fall,” he said. “But they will likely be unable to achieve the same level of earnings as before.”

Chicago-Kent College of Law Director of the Graduate Program in Financial Services Law Emeritus Henry Perritt said that savings people accumulated during the COVID lockdown and high COVID-impact payments helped workers drop out of the workforce. The decline in the workforce is fueling wage inflation and making it hard for employers to deliver goods and services. Labor productivity is the lowest it’s ever in the U.S., he said.

“Continually increasing labor productivity is the way that any economy improves its standard of living. Without it, improvements are impossible,” he said. “Wages are not going to go down, so the impact of wage inflation is permanent. The job hopping, sitting at home, and excessive wage demands will all be muted as the economy softens into a recession, which is a certainty.”


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