The number of American workers quitting their jobs reached 4.4 million in September, hitting an all-time high, the Labor Department revealed in data released on Friday, Nov. 12.
The quits rate also increased to 3%, the highest since the department started collecting the data in the Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) survey in 2000.
The Hill reported that quitting increased in several industries, with the most significant increases in arts, entertainment, recreation, and state and local government education, citing the department’s data.
American workers willingly left their jobs even though wages have increased in recent months.
Data showed that job openings stayed roughly even in August at 10.4 million.
While the question “Why is everyone quitting their jobs?” has been discussed, economists see quits as a window into how willing workers are to leave their current job in search of another role with higher compensation or greater personal fulfillment, according to The Hill.
Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed, highlighted sharp jumps in quits within the manufacturing and the leisure and hospitality sectors — both of which were hit hard by the emergence of COVID-19 and are highly sensitive to health concerns among workers.
“The rise of quitting across the labor market is remarkable, but the concentration among a few sectors is eye-popping. Quits are up the most in sectors where most work is in-person or relatively low paying,” Bunker said.
“Quits are up the most in sectors where most work is in-person or relatively low paying,” he said.
According to Reuters, all-time high savings fueled by government aid, as well as a strong stock market and record house price gains, look set to continue to provide a short-term buffer as workers weigh up when to re-enter the jobs market. In addition, higher-than-normal early retirements are also playing a role.