Why a Job is Not Just a Job: Expectations for Employee Turnover in Wholesale Trade | NBWA: America's Beer and Beverage Distributors

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS data (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) provides an important reminder of the significant economic impact that beer distributors can have in their local economies.

Job Turnover By Industry: Restaurants and Accommodations vs. Wholesale Trade

The National Restaurant Association reported restaurant and accommodation industry employee turnover rates for 2015. Their data show an astounding 70 percent turnover rate for the industry and indicate that the rate has consistently increased since the end of the recession.

In contrast to the restaurant data, the wholesale industry – including beer distributors – has consistently posted lower rates of employee turnover, remaining much more insulated to the business cycle. For wholesale trade, 2014 and 2015 has seen only a slight increases in turnover and is still well below the 2007 and 2008 employee turnover rates. This is another piece of the beer distributor story. Not only do beer distributors provide great employment opportunities in their communities, this data clearly demonstrate that beer distributors provide stable employment opportunities as well.

When we take a deeper look into just the wholesale trade industry, we see the impacts of the recent business cycle on employee turnover rates. First, prior to the 2008 recession, quit rates (voluntary separations) exceeded layoffs (involuntary separations) by several percentage points for 2006 and 2007. In 2008, quit rates and layoff rates were both at 16 percent. However, once the impacts of a much deeper recession hit home, the quit rate dropped to around 10 percent, while the layoff rate increased. As the economy healed and hiring activity picked up, quit rates exceeded the layoff rates for 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Employee Turnover in Wholesale Trade

As we enter the seventh year of expansion of this economic cycle, we can expect to see more turnovers and labor market changes. Beer distributor quit rates, as part of the wholesale trade industry, will increase as employers compete more agressively for employees. The natural consequnces will be rising wages and increasing expecations of inflation across the country. 

For additional information, please contact NBWA Chief Economist Lester Jones at ljones@nbwa.org.