Last November, the United States posted its highest number of job resignations since it began keeping records in 2000.
During that month, the US registered a total of 4.5 million voluntary job resignations. This broke the previous record of 4.4 million sets during September 2021.
US Job Resignations Hit Record Highs Last October
The 4.5 million voluntary job resignations marked the highest number of Americans quitting in a month. Similar to October’s breakdown, the leisure and hospitality industry led to the exodus.
A total of 1 million employees left their restaurant, bar, and hotel jobs in November alone. According to the US Department of Labor, the figure meant that the industry registered a 60% increase in the number of voluntary resignations.
The data also suggest that what experts called “The Great Resignation” remains in full swing. Despite an increasingly tight labor market, many workers are still leaving their jobs in favor of better opportunities.
Employers are scrambling to fill their ranks, offering competitive rates and signing bonuses. This is pushing workers to ditch their lower-paying jobs in favor of better ones.
Even as Workers Quit, Most Take Up New Jobs
Even with the record 4.5 million job resignations, American businesses hired 6.7 million workers in November. This is according to Heidi Shierholz, the former chief economist at the Labor Department.
Sheirholz is now president of the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. “People who quit are taking other jobs, not leaving the workforce,” she noted.
“Workers being able to quit their jobs to take better jobs is a very good thing and signals an economy with healthy dynamism.”
However, experts warn that American workers will continue resigning en masse. According to Emsi Burning Glass, demographic issues and the pandemic will fuel more job resignations.
Ron Hetrick, senior economist at Emsi said that many factors converge to make this happen. He pointed to Boomer retirements and declining births and immigration as factors.
He also said that millennials are less active in the labor market. Data from the Federal Reserve of St. Louis showed that 3.3 million Americans opted to retire between January 2020 to October 2021.
10.6 Million Job Openings
Meanwhile, employers remain hopeful to get the warm bodies they need. Companies posted 10.6 million job openings, which is 400,000 lower than the near-record 11 million posted in October.
However, the numbers mean that businesses posted at least 10 million job openings for the past six months.
As usual, the hospitality and leisure industry led to a drop in openings. The sector lost around 261,000 restaurant and hotel jobs in November.
However, hiring remains strong, which can mean that workers are just changing companies. Meanwhile, around 6.9 million Americans remain unemployed. This gives the US an enviable ratio of 1.5 jobs for every available American worker.
Omicron Not Yet Factored In
The data from November does not reflect the effect of Omicron on the job market. The steep rise in COVID cases beginning December offers a new challenge for the labor market.
Michael Pearce, a senior U.S. economist with Capital Economics, said that the pandemic will still play a large role.
“The surge in infections is already weighing on demand in high-contact service sectors, but the bigger impact of the Omicron wave will be on labor supply, as workers testing positive are forced to isolate,” he said.
Watch the EWTN News Nightly video reporting that a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November:
What do you think about the record number of job resignations in November? Is this an indication of a failing economy, or does it mean a thriving labor market?
Tell us what you think. Share with us your thoughts about the Great Resignation. Leave comments below.
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