Job-hoppers have contributed to a jump in the nation’s “quit rate,” which hit 1.7 percent in January, February and April, the highest level in more than four years. The rate averaged 2.2 percent in 2005 and 2006, but plummeted during the recession, hitting a low of 1.2 percent in September 2009.
This so-called job churning can be seen among workers of all ages.
“Job churning is more of a younger-person game than an older-person’s game,” said Clinch of the University of Baltimore. “But in a recovery, churning is across the board.”
A recent survey by online employment marketplace Monster showed the frustration many job seekers feel, with more than half of those surveyed struggling to find a job matching their salary, title and location preferences.
The survey of nearly 6,000 Monster users showed that 42 percent of job seekers who are employed are unhappy with their jobs. Most in that group plan to job-hunt in the next year and are confident about landing new jobs.
Monica Krausch, 35, of Aberdeen, Md., knows well that the current job market still has its share of hurdles.
“I’m embarrassed to say that the last three years, I’ve had five or six jobs, and I’m not one for job-hopping,” she said.
Krausch has worked in the automotive industry for more than a decade, usually on commission in parts and service departments for high-end car dealerships. She’s lost some jobs through layoffs and struggled to earn a living on commission.
She hoped for better with a new career, and went back to the Art Institute of York in Pennsylvania for an architecture and design degree. But her job search after graduation in January 2012 turned up only low-paying internships that wouldn’t pay the bills. She returned to an auto-parts job but was laid off last summer.
She started a design and photography business, then in April finally found a job in her newly chosen field as a color consultant at a local paint store. The work is part time, for now.
Krausch depends on help from family to pay bills and repay a student loan.
“I’m doing everything in my power, as far as the job is concerned, to work myself up through the ranks,” she said. “I would definitely like to make a career” here.