WASHINGTON (AP), — A report Tuesday highlighted the stark reality that Americans are leaving in droves because of difficulty filling their jobs.
According to the Labor Department, quits rose to 4.3million in August. This is the highest number of quits since December 2000 and up from 4,000,000 in July. According to the report, August saw a slowdown in hiring, with 10.4 million jobs available, down from 11.1 million the month before.
Data strongly suggest that the August delta variant caused havoc in the employment market. COVID-19 cases rose, and quits increased in restaurants and hotels, as well as in public-facing positions like education and retail.
The government stated that Quits rose most in the South, Midwest and Midwest regions, which were the areas with the worst COVID outbreaks during August.
Workers quitting are usually a positive sign for the job marketplace. People typically leave jobs when there are other opportunities or they feel certain they will find one. There is good news. The August increase was likely due to employers wanting workers and increasing wages. Many workers believe they can get better compensation elsewhere.
The fact that many quits were concentrated within sectors that are in close contact to the public is an indication that fear of COVID played a major role. Many people might have quit without having any other job options.
According to Friday’s government statement, September saw a weaker hiring season than usual. There were only 194,000 new jobs in September, while the unemployment rate dropped from 5.2% to 4.8%.
Tuesday’s report, the Job Openings & Labor Turnover survey (or JOLTS), provides more detail about the market. After taking into account job losses, job quits, retirements, and layoffs, Friday’s hiring report is a net total. Tuesday’s raw figures are included in the report. They show that August’s total hiring dropped sharply to 6.3million, from 6.8million in July.