Following rising levels in the spring, the proportion of workers ditching their jobs in the United States reached its highest level in August since at least 2000. This follows elevated levels in the spring.
According to the U.S. Labor Department's most recent JOLTS Data, nearly 4.3 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs for the month, resulting in a quit rate of 2.9%.
Compared to the pandemic-era low of 1.6% in April last year, this measure of workers' confidence has risen significantly and has surpassed the prior high of 2.8%i n April of this year.
In an interview with Yahoo Money, Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao stated that "there is undoubtedly some portion of this that is attributable to the Delta variant."
In general, the fact that increased quit rates are at or above pre-pandemic levels, and in some cases at record levels, indicates that workers today have more "decisive power."
The greatest quit rate in August was 6.8% in the accommodation and food services industry, which accounted for almost two-thirds of the increase in that month. The quit rates in retail trade has also grown to 4.7%, up from 4.4% in July, according to the latest figures. The number of people quitting in both industries is significantly higher than it was prior to the pandemic.
Zhao explained that this is partly due to a tight labor market in the country. "Then there's the ongoing epidemic," says the author. "Frontline service roles are the ones where the danger of COVID-19 is particularly acute for employees."
Even when more employees left their jobs in August, hiring slowed and the number of employment openings shrank as a result of an increase in Delta infections.
As of the end of August, there were 10.4 million job opportunities, a decline of 659,000 from the beginning of the year. The number of new hires fell by 439,000 to 6.3 million, as well.
At 0.8, the number of unemployed workers per job vacancy did not change in August from the previous month, the figures show. The number of layoffs and discharges, as well as the rate at which they occurred, remained unchanged at 1.3 million and 0.9%, respectively, from their series lows.