The number of Americans voluntarily quitting their jobs surged to a record 4.5 million in November, a show of confidence in the labor market and an indication that higher wages could prevail for a while.
The 370,000 increase in quits reported in the Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, on Tuesday was led by the accommodation and food services industry.
There were also big increases in the health care and social assistance fields as well as the transportation, warehousing and utilities sectors. All four U.S. regions reported a rise in the number of people quitting their jobs.
“The historic rates of quitting continued through the end of 2021,” said Nick Bunker, director of research at job services company Indeed Hiring Lab. “Workers continued to switch jobs in light of the many opportunities the current labor market provides, with the private sector quits rate hitting an all-time high of 3.4 percent. Of course, whether these conditions continue into 2022 is one of the biggest questions for the year ahead.”