The number of Americans quitting their jobs hits a record high | Workers’ Rights News

In November, a record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs, while job vacancies remain at historic highs.

If there are any lingering doubts about who has the upper hand in the U.S. job market today, the latest data released by the Department of Labor on Tuesday should calm them-because workers don’t have that much power to issue orders for decades. .

The latest job vacancies and labor mobility survey (JOLTS) released on Tuesday showed that 4.5 million Americans voluntarily resigned in November, a record high. This is an increase of 382,000 from last month.

At the same time, the number of job vacancies dropped from more than 500,000 in October to 10.6 million in November, but this is still high by historical standards.

Customer-oriented leisure and hotel work (including hotels and restaurants) and retail have the largest number of employees. Despite the decrease from October to November, these industries still have the largest number of job vacancies.

The record high turnover rate and near-record job vacancies indicate that as companies raise wages and increase benefits to attract scarce job applicants, workers are leaving their current employers in search of better deals.

The economy has not yet recovered all the jobs lost at the beginning of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, and the continued shortage of workers has affected job creation.The U.S. adds a Disappointing 210,000 jobs in NovemberAlthough the labor force participation rate—including those who are working or actively looking for work—increased in November, it is still 1.5 percentage points lower than the pre-pandemic level.

Economists have been exploring why there are so few workers available for companies to hire, but various factors include fears of contracting COVID-19, parenting challenges, early retirement of baby boomers, and workers who have released their entrepreneurial spirit to start their own businesses. factor.

Whatever the reason, workers are in a favorable bargaining position-this effect is reflected in average hourly wages, which rose 4.8% year-on-year in November.

Nonetheless, this kind of salary increase has not kept up with inflation. The Fed’s preferred economic potential inflation indicator-personal consumption expenditure- Up 5.7% in November Compared with a year ago.

The November JOLTS investigation was completed before the Omicron variant COVID-19 raged in the United States. But with the release of the December employment report, another important data on the US labor market will be released on Friday.