A record 4.5 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This pushed the layoff rate to 3%, equivalent to the peak in September. Workers were more likely to quit their jobs in the hospitality sector, which had by far the highest exit rate at 6.1% in November, as were those in the health care sector.
Workers have continued to quit work at a historic rate. Low-wage industries directly affected by the pandemic continued to be the source of much of the increase in quits, ”said Nick Bunker, research director at Indeed Hiring Lab, in comments by e -mail.
Case in point, the UCLA Labor Center said in a report also released on Tuesday that nearly a quarter of fast food workers in the Los Angeles area have contracted Covid in the past 18 months. Less than half of them had been informed by their employers that they had been potentially exposed to the virus.
Positions in finance and insurance, as well as in the federal government, increased in November.
Hires were little changed at 6.7 million and that paints a positive picture of the labor market:
“People who quit are taking other jobs, not leaving the workforce,” said Heidi Shierholz, chief economist at the Economic Policy Institute in a tweet Tuesday. “On net, the labor market is gaining a ton of jobs every month.”