BUSINESS + ECONOMY

The Great Resignation isn’t all bad, Utah economist says

Oct 26, 2022, 4:00 PM

degrees...

A “Now Hiring” sign is pictured outside Component Playgrounds in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — In a sign that the Great Resignation continues, Utah’s quit rate has gone back up in recent months. In a slight bump, about 3.5% of Utah workers quit their jobs in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But as Utahns continue to quit their jobs, economists say it’s not all bad.

Chief Economist Mark Knold with the Utah Department of Workforce Services said a higher quit rate is a sign of a strong economy.

“They’re quitting because they’re getting better jobs. We find historically that the better the economy gets, the more quits there are in the economy because people can jump to another job. When the economy goes bad, quits slow down because there isn’t other opportunities to go to.”

But there’s another element to this. With interest rates rising, there are fewer people looking to move, meaning less competition for jobs from people out of state.

“The job opportunities for those who are in Utah is suddenly increasing. Even though maybe the number [of] open jobs hasn’t increased, but the amount of people competing for it has fallen off.”

Knold also said Utah did not have the same kind of jump in quit rates as nationally. We’re basically seeing the same numbers we did before the pandemic.

“Quit rates are a relation to how good the economy is. Our economy was good, better than the nation, before the pandemic. And it’s the same on the other side, and so the quit rates… were already elevated long before the pandemic started in Utah.”

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The Great Resignation isn’t all bad, Utah economist says