Data released Tuesday by the Labor Department shows the number of people leaving the workforce hit a new record in November when about 4.5 million workers quit their jobs.
The number — up from 4.2 million in October — is the highest since the United States began keeping track of the statistic almost 20 years ago. The figure is equivalent to about 3% of the workforce.
The so-called “quits rate” measures the number of people who voluntarily left their jobs while also counting those who left prior employment for another job and people who quit but believe they will soon find new employment.
“Workers continued to quit their jobs at a historic rate,” Indeed Hiring Lab’s Director of Research Nick Bunker said Tuesday. “The low-wage sectors directly impacted by the pandemic continued to be the source of much of the elevated quitting. Lots of quits means stronger worker bargaining power, which will likely feed into strong wage gains.”
But the number of job openings decreased from the month before, with about 10.6 million openings in November. The largest decreases came in the accommodation and food services space, followed by construction and manufacturing.
Openings increased in finance, insurance, and as usual, the federal government.
The employment survey was mainly conducted before the omicron variant’s recent surge. Reports say it is unclear what extent the variant and accompanying illness will have on the economy and job openings.
This information comes as more Americans blame President Joe Biden for just about everything, especially the country’s economic woes. A CNBC poll released Tuesday shows 60% of respondents disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, an all-time high.
CNBC reports Americans from both parties blame Joe Biden for the rising costs of “groceries, gas, healthcare, and everything.”
“[I] don’t see it getting better anytime soon.” pic.twitter.com/ATB771Sjow
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 4, 2022