Employed workers leaving labor force in mass exodus despite rise in job openings

Employees leaving labor force in mass exodus

ManpowerGroup North America President Becky Frankiewicz discusses why people are leaving the workforce.

Job openings rose to nearly 7.5 million in March, coming off a nine-month low during the previous month.

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A number of industries saw large gains in job openings including, transportation, warehousing, utilities (+87,000), construction (+73,000), real estate, rental and leasing (+57,000). Despite the gains, FOX Business’ Charles Payne notes that about 1.2 million people are leaving the labor force at an alarming rate.

ManpowerGroup North America president Becky Frankiewicz points out that the April job opening numbers has also been consistent year-over-year. She says that the mass exodus of employees is a result of Americans’ confidence in the robust job market.

“People are confident they can leave the workforce and they can return because there will still jobs here. We are seeing an increase in people leaving to go back to school, which we think is the intersection of reskilling and people needing to learn new trade to come back and be meaningful in employment,” Frankiewicz said on “Making Money” Friday.

Frankiewicz said the endless job opportunities across the entire economy makes it difficult for her to accept the fact that some people are opting not to pursue employment. However, she also noted that there are many external factors, such as family life and the opioid epidemic, that have a significant negative impact on the number of people participating in the workforce.


“We have unprecedented economic opportunity for jobs and yet we do see pockets of people, where whether it’s because of they didn’t see their parents working, they didn’t have their role model working or in some cases drugs, just not participating in the workforce,” she said. “I know the government is trying to help with that but I honestly think it comes back to the role that parents play and the role we play as employers to make work attractive.”

There are a growing number of businesses that are stepping in to help train employers and employees in order to acquire the necessary skills to flourish in the economy, according to Frankiewicz.

“We’re seeing businesses step in with certifications. Not every job needs a college degree and definitely not every job in America needs a high school degree.”


Ultimately, Frankiewicz says the responsibility falls on society to make sure the workforce have employers and employees who feel they are ready and equipped to work.

“We have to encourage Americans that there is opportunity for you. Translate your skills into meaningful employment opportunities today, into your resume, and get out there to find something.

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