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As economy improves, more people quit jobs than get layed off

Underpaid and overworked, New Yorkers are taking their jobs and shoving them.

Disgruntled workers have put up with stagnate paychecks, longer hours and larger workloads during the recession, city career coaches say.

But now, they’re telling their bosses to get lost.

More people quit their jobs in the past three months than were canned, according to new U.S. Department of Labor statistics. That’s a big reversal after 15 months in which the majority of those who left their jobs were forced to.

“You get a lot of people who are unhappy with their current situation. They feel like they’ve been abused,” said Alan Mattei, managing director of a city consulting firm working in the financial sector

Nearly 2 million ditched their jobs in April in the U.S., statistics show, despite unemployment being at 9.7 percent.

The trend’s even more prevalent in the northeast, with the number of people quitting up 32 percent when compared April 2009 and 2010 labor department figures.

“The job market is rebounding,” said Brian Kalish, 23, who quit his news reporting gig in the city last month for a job in Washington, D.C. “The opportunity … was too good to pass up.”

Local career coaches have seen New Yorkers jump to a different position because they:

• Took a job below their skill level during the recession, and are now ready to go back up the ladder

• Are fed up of being overworked after the company let go of workers during the slump

• Have acted as consultants to tie themselves over and are now landing fulltime employment

• Want to leave before there are additional layoffs at their company

•Are looking to change jobs while there’s enough time to rack up an end of the year bonus

“There’s a whole different perspective with what people are willing to accept at this point,” said Anita Attridge, a job coach for executives in the city. “They feel much more secure.”

Still, the number of people quitting their jobs is far below pre-recession levels, and layoffs in the northeast increased between March and April, the labor department figures show.

Career coaches say workers shouldn’t jump ship without a firm job in place.

“It’s still an employers market,” Attridge said.

(Robert Levin contributed to this story)

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Quitters:
Number of workers in the Northeast who have quit:
April 2009: 270,000
March 2010: 277,000
April 2010: 355,000
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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