A record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, led by food and retail industries

(CNBC) — Workers left their jobs at a record pace in August, with bar and restaurant employees as well as retail staff quitting in droves, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

Quits hit a new series high going back to December 2000, as 4.3 million workers left their jobs. The quits rate rose to 2.9%, an increase of 242,000 from the previous month, which saw a rate of 2.7%, according to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The rate, which is measured against total employment, is the highest in a data series that goes back to December 2000.

Quits have been seen historically as a level of confidence from workers who feel they are secure in finding employment elsewhere, though labor dynamics have changed during Covid-19 crisis. Workers have left their jobs because of health concerns and child care issues unique to the pandemic’s circumstances.

A total of 892,000 workers in the food service and accommodation industries left their jobs, while 721,000 retail workers departed along with 534,000 in health care and social assistance.

“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,” said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Covid cases have since been on the decline nationally, though some health care professionals worry about another rise during the colder months.

Job openings also declined sharply in August as hiring fell.

Employment vacancies fell to 10.44 million during the month, a drop of 659,000 from July’s upwardly revised 11.1 million, according to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Federal Reserve officials watch the JOLTS report closely for signs of slack in the labor market.

The total fell well short of market expectations for 10.96 million openings, according to FactSet.

“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,” wrote Chris Rupkey, chief economist at Fwdbonds. “The economy is strong as a bull, that is why there is a tremendous demand for labor.”

The job posting rate fell to 6.6% in August from 7% in July. That level was just 4.4% a year ago as the economy was still struggling to escape the Covid downturn.

Hires declined by 439,000 for a month in which nonfarm payrolls increased by 366,000. The hires rate fell to 4.3% from 4.6%, due largely to a plunge in leisure and hospitality. The sector, which took the hardest pandemic hit, saw hiring decline by 233,000, sending the rate down to 7.9% from 9.5% in July.

Government hiring also fell sharply during the month, down to 1.4% from 2.2%.

The JOLTS data runs a month behind the nonfarm payrolls report but still carries weight at the Fed. Central bank officials are mulling whether to begin pulling back the unprecedented policy help they provided during the pandemic, and are expected later this year to slow monthly bond purchases.

However, Fed officials have said they will not begin increasing interest rates until the labor market firms up. Full Loaf Hot Link Jobs Original Article By: Jeff Cox

Rising Dough

Rising Dough - the question(s) that we need to think about from the reading.Why are employees quitting their jobs? What is the effect on the economy of employees quitting their jobs?

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8 thoughts on “A record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, led by food and retail industries”
  1. I think the reason people are quitting is most likely connected to the hours they work and the amount of pay they get for them, maybe people aren’t as enthusiastic for the pay from either establishment and want to get a job that gives pay that shows the hours you’ve worked. Now with less employees it will most likely slow down some stores and fast food places, this will most likely hurt them due to their lack of workers that means less hands to help sell things and slower selling time. In the case for fast food places it’ll take longer for food to reach the customer.

  2. Employees are quitting their job due to multiple factors. One is wages; as inflation goes up, wages aren’t. This difference between inflation and wages is making it harder for people to make ends meet. Another reason is working conditions. As lots of people are leaving their jobs, it makes people more valuable, so people are quitting to try and find better conditions elsewhere. This mass quitting of jobs can affect the economy in a number of ways. It can worsen supply delays, make customer service a rockier experience, and generally make things harder.

  3. Employees are quitting their jobs because they are getting worked to much for not enough money or benefits so, they leave and work for a different company with better pay. Therefor workplaces are losing money because they cant stay open for normal hours.

  4. The reason I think they are quitting is because they are not making enough money for the work that they are doing then they are losing money and in need of more people

  5. I think people are quitting their jobs and having problems with covid and not wanting to be out and about with people because they don’t want to get sick or get anyone els sick

  6. Some reasons for employees quitting their jobs are lack of benefits, poor pay for their type of work, workers becoming discouraged, and fears of covid. When employees quit their jobs, the economy’s total productions plummets, especially when 4.3 million people quit their jobs. Profits for many companies could potentially lower.

  7. I think many people are quitting their jobs because they are nervous after not be able to work because of COVID, as well as they are not happy where they work because of all the stress with worker shortages many companies are having and many people not showing up to work.

  8. Employees are quitting due to health concerns and child care issues caused by COVID. The effect on the economy can be bad due to employees quitting, there will be less labor available and supply shortages might become even worse.

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