RALEIGH – North Carolina ranks 12th among all U.S. states and the District of Columbia in a new analysis by WalletHub that tracks where job resignations are occurring at the highest rates.

According to the analysis, which is based on labor market data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina’s rate of resignations was 3.3% in the most recent month where data was available, and 3.34% in the prior 12 months, where data was available.

The WalletHub methodology assigns a double weight to the most recent month.  If ranked merely by last month’s data, North Carolina would tie for the 11th spot with North Dakota and Iowa, both of which had a resignation rate of 3.3% as well.

And over the prior 12 months, North Carolina is 12th at 3.34%.  Florida, which ranks fourth overall due to a quit rate of 4.2% last month, ranks just ahead of North Carolina at 3.35% over the prior 12 months of data, and Tennessee ranks behind the Tar Heel State over the last 12 months with a quit rate of 3.31%, according to the data.

Tennessee is 10th overall and Kentucky is 11th overall, with South Carolina ranking 13th overall, according to the WalletHub analysis.

Advice for job seekers in changing labor market: Be careful, economists warn

Why workers leave

The data isn’t coming from workers who perhaps experienced a layoff, though layoffs appear to be increasing in number, according to the recent filings from companies submitted to the North Carolina Department of Commerce under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

Sure, some of those who are choosing to leave are choosing to retire, despite an uncertain economic climate.

But the data also tracks workers who choose to leave a job to take another opportunity.  And while the state’s job market has been somewhat turbulent as of late, especially for IT jobs as found by the most recent NC TECH IT Jobs Report, there are still tens of thousands of open roles.

“The quit rate is indeed at a historically high level,” Ryan Nunn, an assistant vice president for applied research in community development and the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, told WalletHub.  “But it is important to understand that the hires rate is also historically high. What we have today—as of early Summer 2022—is a tight labor market where workers are more empowered to leave their jobs and find better ones.”

Still, job openings may be slowing.  Already, some notable companies have announced slowing in hiring plans or announced layoffs.

That’s among the reasons why some economists may caution those seeking work to take available opportunities when they’re presented.

“If you are looking, be less choosy and take a job,” Dr. Gerald Cohen, the chief economist at the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise, told WRAL TechWire earlier this month.  “It will be much easier to find a job now than in the midst of a recession.”

Earlier this year, North Carolina ranked 8th in the United States in a WalletHub analysis that used the same methodology.

NC ‘quit rate’ 8th highest in U.S. – but that reflects strong labor market, economists say