Labor Dep’t says workers quit jobs at a record pace in August

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The Labor Department on Tuesday said the United States has seen a rapid pace of workers leaving their jobs, noting that employees from bar, restaurant, and retail establishments quit their positions in scores.

Some 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August. The quit rate was at 2.9 percent, higher than the 2.7 percent recorded from the previous months. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey said that this translated to an increase of 242, 000. Determined against total employment, the rate becomes the highest record going back to December 2000.

The historic quit rate came with the workers’ confidence who feel they could be hired in other jobs. This, despite that the pandemic has caused shifts in the labor dynamics.

Health worries and child care concerns during the pandemic have encouraged employees to quit their jobs.

In the food service and accommodation industries, a total of 892, 000 workers have quit. Retail industries have meanwhile seen 721, 000 workers leave while health care and social assistance sectors lost 534, 000 workers.

“As job openings and hires fell in August, the quits rate hit a new series high, surging along with the rise in Covid cases and likely growing concerns about working in the continuing pandemic,” Economic Policy Institute’s senior economist Elise Gould, said.

While infections across the country drop, health care professionals are still concerned of another spike in cases during the colder period.

Meanwhile, there was also a notable decrease in job opening in August, along with the hiring decline.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey of the department said a decrease of 10.44 million in employment vacancies was seen during the period. This is less by 659, 000 from the previous month. The JOLTS report is being monitored by Federal Reserve officials to detect slack signals in the labor market, CNBC reported.

 “There is an enormous labor shortage in the country right now and it is not just because people are quitting or have child care problems, or can’t get to work due to the Delta variant,” Fwdbonds’ chief economist wrote Chris Rupkey said. “The economy is strong as a bull, that is why there is a tremendous demand for labor.”