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In Spokane County, The Number Of New Positions Currently Outnumbers The Number Of People Quitting

While employee turnover remains a problem for businesses, data on workforce participation shows that employees are entering the labor market in greater numbers than those who leave, indicating that Spokane has recovered from the nationwide resignation wave last year, according to labor market experts.

Employers facing labor shortages have been disturbed by high quit rates, but data from the federal, state, and county levels reveals that new job advertising have exceeded quit rates across all industries in the United States.

According to Mark Mattke, CEO of the nonprofit Spokane Area Workforce Development Council, firms have grown or recovered workforce levels relative to pre-pandemic employment levels, but a labor shortage remains due to the volume of new job openings available across all employment sectors.

The labor participation rate, according to Patrick Jones, executive director of Eastern Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis, provides insight into Spokane County’s attitudes toward employment.

According to Jones, Spokane County’s labor participation in December 2021 was 265,000, which is greater than it was at any point in 2019.

The average number of monthly quits in Washington state in 2019, before the epidemic, was 60,000, according to Doug Tweedy, a Spokane-based regional economist for the Washington state Employment Security Department. In December 2021, 84,000 people departed their jobs, indicating high turnover.

However, in Washington state, the pre-pandemic monthly average of total job postings in 2019 was 138,000. In December 2021, there were a total of 221,000 job opportunities. When compared to the monthly average from a year ago, the data shows an even higher increase in the number of job openings.

Jones claims that if the labor force is rising, there is no sign of the Great Resignation occurring in Spokane County.

According to Mattke of the Spokane Workforce Council, there were 250,000 individuals employed in Spokane County at the end of 2019. That number was 255,000 in December 2021.

“We’ve recovered the jobs and grown,” he says, adding that “our overall employment is up 5,000 people working over where we were pre-pandemic.”

According to Tweedy, data patterns support the idea that when workers have more opportunities, they will quit more often since they will be able to move around to employment that better suit their needs.

“People are traveling around more because they believe there are better prospects,” adds Tweedy.

Many individuals are leaving leisure, retail, and hospitality jobs to work in transportation and warehousing employment at companies like Amazon, FedEx, and the US Postal Service, according to him.

According to Jones, the quit rate hasn’t had the same impact across all businesses.

According to Jones, the health care and social support sectors, as well as retail vocations, have regained employment to pre-pandemic levels in Spokane County as of Q2 2021, compared to Q2 2019.

Professional and technical services, as well as banking and insurance, have seen increases in employment since the outbreak. Manufacturing jobs, on the other hand, are still roughly 1,000 employees below their pre-pandemic levels. Jones notes that the hospitality business has lost 2,000 employees.

He goes on to say that the data shows a lot of turnover in the labor market.

Retirements, a lack of child care choices, employee burnout, and employees reevaluating their jobs for a better work/life balance are all factors that contribute to high turnover rates.

Professionals in the field of employment agree that the labor market currently benefits workers over employers.

According to Mattke, the majority of quits occur in jobs that pay the minimum wage.

“It’s been more difficult to maintain individuals in low-wage jobs.” “If you’re making $15 to $18 an hour, turnover is really high,” Mattke says.

Employers can reduce turnover by offering better wages and benefits, according to labor leaders in the area.

Workers are also looking for prospects for advancement, according to Mattke. If a person’s career path can be sketched out, there is a significant incentive for that individual to stay with that employer rather than seeking for a job that pays $1 an hour more, for example.

“Things will get better. “As firms have a better understanding of what it takes to be competitive, they’ll be more appealing to workers and bring in folks who are now on the sidelines,” Mattke says. “It will improve in 2022, but the rate of improvement will be determined by how quickly firms adapt to the new labor market realities.”

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