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Americans Are Still Quitting Their Jobs At Near Record Highs

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EDITOR'S NOTE: As we approach the two-year mark of the pandemic, Americans are still quitting their jobs in record numbers, according to the Washington Post. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in October, just slightly under the all-time high of 4.4 million the month before. The Post calls this “the most worker-friendly climate in decades,” but also notes that there is a significant “catches.” This includes in-person jobs struggling to find and keep employees, higher turnover than ever in high-turnover industries like food service, and the little fact that “While average wages have gone up significantly in the last year — 4.8 percent, according to the BLS — price increases from inflation have largely wiped out the significance of those gains for many people.” 

The elevated number of resignations is part of the economic disruption that continues almost two years after the pandemic began.

Some 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in October as churn in the labor market continued to mark the economic recovery nearly two years into the pandemic, according to a report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of people who left jobs for other opportunities in October made up 2.8 percent of the workforce, the BLS said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. In contrast, the survey found 11 million job openings, only slightly less than the record from July.

A record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September. Workers took advantage of the surge in job openings across the country. August’s numbers, at 4.3 million, were also a record at the time. In contrast, in February 2020, before the big wave of pandemic-related layoffs began, 2.3 percent of workers quit their jobs — underscoring that the October data remains extremely elevated.

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