Economists are pretty good at accounting for the unemployed and underemployed, but there’s one group that’s gone largely ignored during the economic recovery: people who have a job they don’t like, but are afraid to quit.
That’s probably because having a bad job was, at least until recently, seen as a pretty lucky problem to have. When times are tough and employment is scarce, any work is good work. But now the economy has sufficiently improved to the point where employees should stop feeling trapped in their current position and seriously consider making the change they’ve been longing for. Here’s why:
Hiring is way, way, up
Friday’s jobs report showed 295,000 jobs were filled in the month of February. That’s the 13th month in a row with more than 200,000 hirings, and the economy has added nearly 11.5 million jobs in the past five years.
That’s a lot of jobs you could have instead of the one you’re stuck in.
Open positions are way up as well
Not only has hiring increased, but the number of positions has surged to a 14-year high. There were 5 million job openings at the end of last year, the most since 2001, and the ratio of unemployed job seekers to openings was 1.7, the lowest number since 2007.
Employees are feeling more confident about quitting
A lot of smart people, including Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, think one of the best indicators of economic progress is whether people have enough faith in the labor market to quit their current jobs. That statistic, known as the quit rate, has been rising and is now closing in on pre-recession levels.
If you’re feeling like it’s time to leave for greener pastures, you’ll have a growing amount of company.