Report: Manufacturing Resignations At Eight-Year High

Substantial job turnover in the U.S. manufacturing sector is due more to workers voluntarily quitting their jobs than to layoffs — contrary to recent election rhetoric.

Mnet 173867 Manufacturing Jobs 1

Substantial job turnover in the U.S. manufacturing sector is due more to workers voluntarily quitting their jobs than to layoffs — contrary to recent election rhetoric.

The Wall Street Journal reports that more manufacturing workers quit their jobs in October than in any month in eight years, while the of number of voluntary departures exceeded the number of layoffs at the highest rate in nine years.

The U.S. Labor Department's monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey found that 157,000 workers quit a manufacturing job in October, while 94,000 were laid off. About 21,000 departed for other reasons, namely transfers, retirement, disability or death.

The numbers coincide with a tight U.S. labor market overall, but the paper noted that the trend of resignations outpacing layoffs dates back some five years. The pattern could indicate confidence among the U.S. manufacturing workforce, since more workers believe their job prospects could be better elsewhere.

The number of lost manufacturing jobs, meanwhile, narrowly exceeded the number of new hires in the 12-month period ending in October, and the number of open manufacturing positions continued to exceed the number of hires.

The latter numbers, the Journal noted, could reflect a relative lack of interest among manufacturers in filling vacant positions -- or indicate trouble finding enough skilled workers.

More in Labor