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Does Job Hopping Help The Economy?

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Job-hopping is quitting one job for another then repeating the process. The “quit rate” is viewed as measuring how confident workers are about the economy. Some experts think it’s a good thing for the economy, but nowadays, more young people are staying put.

Although economic indicators, such as new construction, housing and hiring are all steady, experts say many younger workers are reluctant to change jobs and chase the higher earnings that often accompany them.

Michael Merriweather admits to being one of the many Millennials fueling a seldom discussed stat called the ‘quit rate’. When the quit rate is low, employees stay put.

“It’s security. You kind of get scared from what you saw your parents go through or some of your other friends go through. You might have left and a month later got fired, I work in the financial industry so that happened a lot and I’m staying put,” explains Michael.

Mike Davis, an economist at SMU’s Cox School of Business, says when young workers are afraid to move on, household economies and the nation suffer.

“It could mean that they have really good jobs and just love their bosses: but, we know that’s not true,” say Davis. “It’s a real issue. What we would like to see is people move up to higher income levels now, whether they do that inside their company or whether they move. Traditionally, most people have had to move.”

Experts say Millennials are forced to walk a fine line between staying too long and perhaps watching their earnings become static, or leaving too soon and risk appearing disloyal.

“If you work for a real small start-up and it’s never going to get big, you’re going to have to go look for opportunities somewhere else,” says Davis. “If you’re working for a large organization, especially a really good company that trains people and gives people opportunity, then it’s probably a good idea to stay there and look around.”

Merriweather says he has managed to find the best of both worlds:

“I’ve been promoted 3 times in the past six years. The plan is to move up without moving out.”

The quit rate has only inched up in recent months although it is nowhere near pre-recession levels.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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