Workers in Red States Are Quitting Their Jobs at Higher Rates and Why That May Be a Good Sign

By Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.
July 21, 2022 Updated: July 22, 2022

Employees in Republican states have a higher quitting rate than those governed by Democrats, potentially indicating a more secure job environment in the red states.

Among the top 10 states with the highest resignation rates during the past 12 months, all 10 are Republican. This includes Alaska with a 12-month resignation rate of 4.18 percent, followed by Georgia with 3.86 percent, Kentucky with 3.74 percent, Montana with 3.69 percent, Wyoming with 3.66 percent, Mississippi with 3.53 percent, Idaho with 3.48 percent, South Carolina with 3.48 percent, Indiana with 3.42 percent, and Arizona with 3.37 percent, according to data from WalletHub.

Employee quitting rates tend to be higher when workers are confident about finding another job, which demands a robust economy.

“Higher quit rates are a sign of worker confidence,” Julia Pollak, chief economist at job site Zip Recruiter, told MarketPlace in a recent interview.

“When there are more jobs out there, it’s more likely that you’ll take a leap and apply for a new one,” she added, per the outlet.

In a July 5 article, The Wall Street Journal reported that the COVID-19 pandemic “changed the geography” of the American economy as red states recovered economically more quickly than blue states. Workers moved from the coasts to the middle of the United States and Florida.

The share of jobs in Republican states has risen by over half a percentage point since February 2020, according to an analysis conducted by the Brookings Institution. As of May 2022, red states added 341,000 jobs, while blue states lost 1.3 million jobs.

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a shift in employment structure as more businesses opted for remote work. This allowed many employees to move to red states that have cheaper housing, lower taxes, and less traffic.

Business Friendliness

Red states are comparatively more conducive to a business environment, according to CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Business” 2022 rankings. The ranking takes into account 88 metrics spread over 10 major categories. Republican states in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions dominated in the category of “business friendliness.”

Topping the category was North Dakota, followed by Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana in the second, third, and fifth spots. All these are Republican states. Arizona, which ranked fourth, was the sole blue state in the top five.

“Companies follow the path of least resistance,” CNBC analysts said regarding the metric of business friendliness. “That includes a legal and regulatory framework that does not overburden business.”

As to the overall employment situation across the country, Colin Corbett, an assistant professor of economics at Bradley University, told WalletHub that younger workers have reentered the workforce at nearly pre-pandemic levels.

“Older workers who have retired are unlikely to return to the workforce barring a dramatic shift in economic conditions and employers’ willingness to hire them,” Corbett said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly classified Arizona and Georgia as blue states. The Epoch Times regrets the error.

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.