A record number of people — about 4.5 million — quit their jobs in November, according to data that was released yesterday by the Department of Labor, and while the rate of people who quit their job remains at its highest point in the two decades that the data point has been tracked by the government, the number of people who were hired into new jobs also increased. This indicates that people are quitting their old jobs for new ones and not necessarily quitting their jobs and deciding to retire or otherwise not work at all.
The food service, retail, and healthcare industries had the highest rates of individuals who quit their jobs in November, all well above the 3% average for all industries.
Overall, there were still 10.6 million job openings available across the country, which is down slightly from the 11 million that were available in October, but still well above the levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States nearly two years ago.
Counting layoffs and individuals who were fired, there were 6.4 million separations in November, and 6.7 million people who were hired into new jobs. Hirings in both the finance and insurance industry as well as professional services — the two industries likely to represent companies from the accounts receivable management industry — also saw significant increases in the number of new hires.
“The Great Resignation shows no sign of abating, with quits hitting a new record. The question is why, and the answers are for starkly different reasons,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, in a published report. “COVID-19 burnout and fear are continuing, but also, many Americans have the confidence to quit given the high level of job openings and rising pay.”
It is important to note that these numbers predate the explosion of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which will likely have a significant impact on the December figures.