The Labor Department released data Tuesday showing that the number of workers leaving the workforce reached a new record in November with approximately 4.5 million people quitting their jobs.
This number, which is up from a 4.2million in October, is the highest recorded since the United States started keeping track of this statistic nearly 20 years ago. This is approximately 3% of the total workforce.
The quits rate measures how many people have voluntarily quit their job. It also counts those who leave prior employment to find another job and those who quit but are hopeful of finding new work.
According to Indeed Hiring Lab’s Director Nick Bunker, Tuesday saw workers continue to leave their jobs at an unprecedented rate. “The high rate of quitting was mainly due to low-wage industries directly affected by the pandemic.” Many quits will lead to stronger worker bargaining power which will likely result in strong wage gains.
The number of job opportunities decreased by about 10.6 million in November, compared to the previous month. Construction and manufacturing saw the largest declines, followed closely by accommodation and foodservice.
There were more opportunities in finance, insurance, and, as always, the federal government.
The omicron variant surged was the main reason that the employment survey was not conducted. According to reports, it is not clear how the variant and the associated illness will impact the economy and job opportunities.
This information is timely as Americans are increasingly blaming President Joe Biden for almost everything, including the country’s economic woes. CNBC’s Tuesday poll shows that 60% of respondents disapprove of Biden’s economic handling, an all-time high.