According to Labor Department statistics published Friday, the number and proportion of Americans who voluntarily quit their employment hit an all-time high in September.
Millions of U.S. Workers Quit Their Jobs
In a recently published article in The Hill, according to the US Department of Labor, 4.4 million Americans departed their employment in September, accounting for 3 percent of all employed people in the country. That was 164,000 more than in August, and it was the second month in a row that the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey recorded a record-breaking quit rate (JOLTS).
The quit rate is a measure of an employee’s ability or desire to leave their employment. With the number of job opportunities remaining unchanged at 10.4 million in September, job seekers have lots of leeway in choosing who they work for.
Job opportunities in September were still significantly above the pre-pandemic peak of 7.3 million in October 2019, although being lower than in July, when a record 11.1 million positions went unfilled, according to a published report in AL JAZEERA.
View from the Economists
The recent spike in American employees quitting their employment willingly is the latest indicator of rising worker power in the labor market’s recovery. Economists see quits as a window into how likely people are to leave their present job in quest of a higher-paying or more fulfilling one.
In a published article in Reuters, as firms struggle to fill millions of positions, wages have grown significantly through 2021, especially for the lowest-paid employees. The proportion and quantity of working-age individuals in the labor market remain well below pre-pandemic levels, providing those presently looking for employment more leverage and possibilities.
Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed, said that the growth in quits throughout the labor market is impressive, but the concentration in a few industries is staggering. Most people are quitting in industries where the majority of the labor is done in person or is low-paying.