Trends by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the quit rate measures workers who change jobs willingly. As of May 2011, the number of quits rose to 2 million. Still, that number is well below the 2.8 million quits measured in December 2007. Table 4 of the “Job Openings and Labor Turnover" news release for May 2011 reports the quits levels and rates. This data, shown by industry and region, is seasonally adjusted as well to provide a more accurate view of the information. Overall, the “accommodation and food services" industry and government workers experienced a decline in quits while “retail trade" industry quit rates rose. The number of quits rose in the South but remained the same in all other regions.
For example, the quit rate for the “construction" industry was 1.1 in May 2010 and in May 2011, it had risen to 1.6. Job openings increased from May 2010 to May 2011 to contribute to this trend. By comparison, in the “manufacturing" industry, the rate was .8 in May 2010 and by May 2011; it had only risen to 0.9. In the “trade, transportation and utilities" industry, the May 2010 rate was 1.7 and in May 2011, it was 1.9. In each of these industries, the job openings rates were significantly lower than for the “construction" industry.
By examining these attrition rates, your company can assess its own programs to determine if the average attrition rates calculated by the HR department reveals a problem or an average experienced by other companies in similar situations, such as economic conditions, physical location or changes in available workforce personnel.