Employee Ghosting: What this trend means for the economy?


For the past couple years, the rate of employees quitting their jobs has been steadily climbing. Not only that, the occurrence of employees completely ghosting their employers has become almost common. And yes, you probably know the term from the modern dating world, but the term is also catching on in the business world.

How do you ghost a job anyways?


There are a few ways. Maybe someone was working one day and dropped off the face of the earth the next. Or maybe someone just got hired, but never showed up to work. Or maybe they never even came to the interview to begin with. Either way, good luck getting them to come back or even return your call.

Why all the ghosting now?

There’s two broad factors that are probably contributing the most.

1. It’s a sign of the times

Employment like in dating, has become very digital and very fast. Most employees don’t stay at jobs long and are quick to switch. Communication style has also changed quite a bit from the days of old. Messaging is easier than answering a phone call. Not responding to messages even easier.

2. The labour market

Unemployment rates in North America are low. So low that employers are struggling to find employees. This creates a lot of competition between employers and a lot of opportunities for employees. Therefore, if you offer a job to a good candidate, there’s a chance they also got offered another, better job at the same time.

Ghosting may seem like a bad sign for employers and the economy, but in reality, the opposite may be true.

The Quits Rate

The percentage of people to quit a job by their own free will, in a year.

Economists use a few key rates as indicators to determine the strength of the economy. One of these is the Quits Rate.

During a recession this rate is usually very low. People quit their jobs less often, because they know it’s harder to find another job. When it’s easier to find a new job, people are more likely to call it quits. In the US this rate hit 2.4 percent in 2018; the highest it’s been in 17 years. The current high rate of quits means that there are more jobs than qualified employees to fill them; indicating that the economy is strong.

Whether it’s a potential employee or a potential love interest, being ghosted doesn’t feel great. However, employers shouldn’t take it to heart; it may just be an indicator of a strong economy.


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