Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Q&A: What does 'quit rate' economic statistic mean?

Good aspect of 'quit rate'

I heard something the other day during a story about the economy about a "quit rate," but they never explained what it is.

The "quit rate" is a statistic kept by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that measures how many people quit their jobs every month.

Interestingly, the more people who quit, the better the economy is likely to be.

"A higher volume of quits leads to a higher number of hiring," Lou Crandall, a New Jersey economist, recently told Bloomberg News. "The quit rate is usually a sign that people are finding better jobs. This is an important component of any self-sustaining expansion."

BLS numbers show that the number of "quits" was generally between 2.5 million and 3 million a month between 2000 and 2007. That number started dropping in 2008 and fell to about 1.5 million in September 2009. Since then it's been gradually rising and is now about 2 million quits a month.

Another way to show this is to calculate the number of unemployed people per job opening. In 2002, the number was about 2.5. In late 2009 it had soared to almost 7. It's been steadily falling since then, and was at 3.7 in February.

Clouds, moisture tint sunset

Can you find out for me how it is that, every evening when I watch the sunset, sometimes the setting sun is a bright white and other times it's a deep orange. It doesn't seem like it's temperature-related, perhaps humidity?

We turned to weather expert Mike Clay, chief meteorologist for the Tampa Bay Times' TV partner, Bay News 9. He writes:

"If it is a milky white at sunset it could be very high level ice crystals or thin cirrus clouds. Thicker high clouds or more moisture could cause the sun to look more orange at sunset. It would have nothing to do with the temperature or the surface weather here. It would depend on the moisture in the upper atmosphere."

More older transplant recipients

Former Vice President Dick Cheney got a heart transplant at age 71. How many of the people on the heart donor lists are over 70 years old, and how many of those over 70 get a heart for a transplant?

Of the 3,146 people on the heart transplant list as of April 2, 95 of them were at least 70 years old and two were 80 or older, Joel Newman, a spokesman with the United Network for Organ Sharing, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Last year, heart transplants were performed on 60 people who were 70 years or older out of the 2,322 total heart transplants, he said. The number of heart transplants on people at least 70 years old has increased in the past 10 years, Newman said, rising from a total of 27 in 2002.

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