Interesting Planet Money background conversation on the current labor market. Worth a listen.
I think they misinterpret the “quit” data, pointing to construction as an example of solid labor confidence because so many people quit in the current period, vs. manufacturing or government where quits were almost non-existent. My take is that construction labor often has less motivation to stay because long-term benefits don’t figure into their equation. Quitting in construction often doesn’t disrupt or eliminate benefits that may be low or non-existent. In manufacturing and government, however, people are more likely to wait for a “package” that would extend benefits and offer severance. Given recent economic realities, industries with long-term benefits may dampen employees willingness, even ability to change jobs.
Listen to the show segment here: 4.2 Million Americans Were Hired In January (And 4.1 Million Quit Or Got Fired)