Workers are 'ghosting' employers in booming US labor market: Report

With the U.S. unemployment at its lowest level in decades, a growing portion of the workforce is opting to “ghost” their employers and leave their jobs without a word.

“A number of contacts said that they had been ‘ghosted,’ a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact,” the Federal Reserve of Chicago said in the December edition of the Beige Book, which tracks U.S. employment.

The unemployment has held at 3.7 percent since September, marking the lowest level in roughly five decades. There are currently more job openings than job hunters.

A tight labor market for employers has made it easier for workers to justify “ghosting.”

“Why hassle with a boss and a bunch of out-processing when literally everyone has been hiring?” Michael Hicks, a labor economist at Ball State University in Indiana, told The Washington Post.

Global staffing firm Robert Half told The Post that it has seen a “ten to twenty percent” uptick in instances of ghosting over the last year.

The Beige Book said that in more than half of surveyed districts, “employment, production, and sometimes capacity expansion had been constrained by an inability to attract and retain qualified workers.” Employers are offering modestly higher wages and improved benefits such as paid vacation and profit-sharing in a bid to attract talent, the report added.