Kentucky ‘quit rate’ indicates tight labor market


We’ve all seen the impact COVID-19 has had on the workforce. Recently, what’s called the “quit rate” in Kentucky raised a lot of eyebrows. It was the highest in the country in August at 4.5%. That means 84,000 Kentuckians left their job.But experts said that one number only tells part of the story.A look at the hiring rate that same month shows numbers level out. It’s really indicative of a tight labor market and the current competitive nature of hiring. For eight years, coffee has been brewing at the corner of Ninth and Monmouth streets in Newport.Carabello Coffee managed to stay open throughout the pandemic, but it is not getting any easier. “I think COVID made everyone ask, ‘Is this the job I want to have right now?’ It made you stop and think about your life, so it caused a lot of transition,” owner Emily Carabello said.Carabello said it’s been a challenge getting staff to stay on.”In this tight labor market, workers are finding they have a fair amount of negotiating power to negotiate higher wages,” said Michael Clark, director for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky. Carabello employs 22 people — 17 of them full-time.They’re doing everything possible to stay competitive.”We’ve added an IRA program with a match. We’ve added dental. Anything we can do we are trying to do. We have a holiday bonus if you stick with us from summer to January,” she said.The August quit and hire data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 19,000 more Kentuckians were hired than quit. But the high numbers tells a story of a lot of open jobs with few available workers. “We’re seeing a lot of that turnover. Workers are finding they’re able to work up to hiring paying jobs. Maybe jobs with better working conditions,” Clark said.Carabello said, as a small business, longevity of employees is key, but there are limits to what they can offer.”I think a lot of them went to jobs where they could work from home — whether it’s DHL or Target online fulfillment. They looked for places that had health insurance. When you have a pandemic, what is everyone thinking about? Their health,” she said.Experts also said some are leaving the employment pool to retire, go back to school or stay home with kids.

We’ve all seen the impact COVID-19 has had on the workforce.

Recently, what’s called the “quit rate” in Kentucky raised a lot of eyebrows. It was the highest in the country in August at 4.5%. That means 84,000 Kentuckians left their job.

But experts said that one number only tells part of the story.

A look at the hiring rate that same month shows numbers level out. It’s really indicative of a tight labor market and the current competitive nature of hiring.

For eight years, coffee has been brewing at the corner of Ninth and Monmouth streets in Newport.

Carabello Coffee managed to stay open throughout the pandemic, but it is not getting any easier.

“I think COVID made everyone ask, ‘Is this the job I want to have right now?’ It made you stop and think about your life, so it caused a lot of transition,” owner Emily Carabello said.

Carabello said it’s been a challenge getting staff to stay on.

“In this tight labor market, workers are finding they have a fair amount of negotiating power to negotiate higher wages,” said Michael Clark, director for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky.

Carabello employs 22 people — 17 of them full-time.

They’re doing everything possible to stay competitive.

“We’ve added an IRA program with a match. We’ve added dental. Anything we can do we are trying to do. We have a holiday bonus if you stick with us from summer to January,” she said.

The August quit and hire data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 19,000 more Kentuckians were hired than quit.

But the high numbers tells a story of a lot of open jobs with few available workers.

“We’re seeing a lot of that turnover. Workers are finding they’re able to work up to hiring paying jobs. Maybe jobs with better working conditions,” Clark said.

Carabello said, as a small business, longevity of employees is key, but there are limits to what they can offer.

“I think a lot of them went to jobs where they could work from home — whether it’s DHL or Target online fulfillment. They looked for places that had health insurance. When you have a pandemic, what is everyone thinking about? Their health,” she said.

Experts also said some are leaving the employment pool to retire, go back to school or stay home with kids.



Read More:Kentucky ‘quit rate’ indicates tight labor market

2021-10-27 18:27:00

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