It’s a trend that began during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it appears it’s not changing anytime soon. We’re talking about American workers leaving their jobs in droves.
A record number of American – 4.5 million, to be exact – quit their jobs in November 2021, according to a report released Tuesday (Jan. 4) report from the Labor Department. The numbers show a sharp uptick in workers’ confidence and a job market that’s strong and getting even stronger following the COVID-19 recession of the past few years.
The number of employee resignations was up 9% from October. The November numbers beat the previous record, which was held in September with 4.36 million Americans leaving their places of employment.
The wave of workers quitting their jobs, often referred to as “The Great Resignation,” is indicative of many workers reflecting on their lives and what’s important to them after experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, according to experts.
“The Great Resignation shows no sign of abating, with quits hitting a new record,” Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, told CNBC. “The question is why, and the answers are for starkly different reasons.”
He added that, “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.”
According to the Labor Department, employers posted 10.6 million job openings in November. That’s lower than the 11.1 million job openings in October but still very high by historical standards. Job openings decreased the most in accommodation and food services; construction; and nondurable goods manufacturing. Job openings increased in finance, insurance and federal government. The number of job openings decreased the most in the South and Midwest areas.
The Labor Department also reported that employers hired 6.7 million employees in November. That’s up from 6.5 million in October, according to the department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.