CHICAGO, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- An increase in the number of people quitting their jobs is actually a sign of an improved job market, a U.S. employment firm said Thursday.
"Quit levels offer important clues about the strength of the job market," said John Challenger, chief executive officer of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
"The rising number of individuals willing to walk away from a job suggests that more are being lured away by other employers or that they are confident enough in their job prospects that they can leave before securing a new position," Challenger said.
The latest Labor Department report on job separations showed that 4,376,000 jobs ended in August with 2,364,000 of those represented by individuals who voluntarily quit their jobs, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.
The number of voluntary quits is 11 percent higher than August 2012, when 2,139,000 persons quit their jobs. Further, the number of voluntary job quits has risen steadily from a recession-low of 1,601,000 in September 2009, the firm said.
On average 1,941,000 persons quit jobs each month in 2011. In 2013, January through August, the average number of quits was 2,247,000 per month.
"The current average remains significantly below the 2,935,000 quits per month averaged over the 24-month period leading up to the recession, but it is definitely trending in the upward direction," Challenger said, adding that the number of involuntary separations -- layoffs and being fired -- has been declining since mid-2010, he said.
"While, no one probably ever feels 100-percent secure in his or her job, these trends certainly indicate that Americans can feel more confident about their job security now versus two years ago," Challenger said.