A record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September as the sheer volume of available jobs is empowering workers to have their pick.
Workers are quitting in search for better pay or better jobs, representing a fundamental shift in America’s labor market.”
Labor now has the initiative, and the era of paying individuals less than a livable wage has ended,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US. “This strongly suggests that rising wages are going to be part and parcel of the economic landscape going forward.”
The nation had 10.4 million open jobs that month as the worker shortage crisis continues, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Friday. It was a modest decrease from the 10.6 million open jobs in August.
Jobs particularly increased in the health care and sector and in state and local government.
“The Delta variant is still visible in the September JOLTS report,” said Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, in emailed comments. But he noted “we do know from the October jobs report that the labor market did get on more stable ground.”
The slowing demand for workers in the leisure and hospitality industry was the cause of the modest decline in available jobs in September.
“The pace of people quitting across the labor market is remarkable,” Bunker said, “but the concentration among a few sectors is eye-popping. Quits are up the most in sectors where most work is in-person or relatively low paying.”