America’s “great resignation” shows no signs of stopping as we enter the new year.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that “a record 4.5 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in November,” CNN’s Anneken Tappe reported.
Based on the newly released data from the government employment tracker, this means approximately 3% of the country’s working population quit their jobs at some point in November 2021, matching the high set months earlier in September.
“Workers were most likely to quit their jobs in the hospitality industry, which had by far the highest quits rate at 6.1% in November, as well as those in healthcare,” Tappe said. “[Turnovers] in transportation, warehousing and utilities also increased.”
In an interview with CNN, Nick Bunker, director of research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, said, “Workers continued to quit their jobs at a historic rate. The low-wage sectors directly impacted by the pandemic continued to be the source of much of the elevated quitting.”
The question Bunker and others in his field are now wondering is: how long will this trend continue? With a tight labor market and lots of available employment, it’s easy for workers to find new and potentially better jobs — two factors that make quitting your existing job an ever-easier prospect.
On top of that, Tappe reported, “the November data released Tuesday doesn’t yet factor in the arrival of the Omicron variant on U.S. shores, which pushed infections higher and put many workers at risk to contract the virus at their places of work.”
Experts said it’s possible the COVID-19 variant, along with the end-of-year holidays, could have driven resignation numbers for December 2021 even higher. However, we won’t know that for sure until new BLS data is released in several weeks.
Outside of people voluntarily leaving their work, other job data for November remained relatively stable, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately 6.3 million men and women were laid off or discharged from their jobs in November 2021. The country also logged 10.6 million new jobs to fill, down just slightly from the 11 million available job openings in October. New hires also remained consistent at 6.7 million, showing that many of those who quit their current jobs have no problem finding new and gainful employment with other businesses and companies.