Fewer Americans quit their jobs in October

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The “Great Resignation” appears to be winding down.

The number of American workers who quit their jobs stalled in October, with 205,000 fewer people handing in resignation letters compared to the month prior, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey released on Wednesday.

As a share of the total workforce, the so-called quits rate fell from 3 percent in September to 2.8 in October.

Still, a whopping 4.16 million people in total walked away from their employer in the month, the figures show — with most of those who resigned coming from the transportation, warehousing, utilities, finance and insurance industries.

Meanwhile, total job openings nationwide surprisingly surged back to record levels, according to the data.

There were just over 11 million openings across the country as of the last day of October, an increase of some 431,000 from September, the feds said.

The number of job openings increased to 11.0 million on the last business day of October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on December 8, 2021.
The number of job openings increased to 11.0 million on the last business day of October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on December 8, 2021.
Bureau of Labor Statistics

That put the figure once again within striking distance of the all-time highest number of nationwide job openings in a single month, which was set at just under 11.1 million in July, based on revised figures.

By far, the largest month-over-month increase in job openings was seen in the accommodation and food services industry, which saw openings grow by 254,000, the feds said.

The updated figure means that there more than 3.5 million job openings in the US in October than there were people actually looking for jobs, based on data reported by the federal government.

While the numbers appear to have a positive outlook, a total of 4.16 million people in total walked away from their employer in the month.
While the numbers appear to have a positive outlook, a total of 4.16 million people in total walked away from their employer in the month.
EPA/TANNEN MAURY
There are more than 3.5 million job openings in the US in October than there were people actually looking for jobs.
There are more than 3.5 million job openings in the US in October than there were people actually looking for jobs.
REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic reopening has seen job openings spike to never-before-seen levels as workers quit their jobs en masse for various reasons.

Economic analysts have estimated that as many as 2.5 million people who have left their jobs have retired, including 1.5 million early retirements.

Others have said some of the missing workers are likely due to people staying home to take care of their kids and others who aren’t prepared to return to jobs where they risk being exposed to COVID-19.

According to the Federal government, the largest month-over-month increase in job openings was seen in the accommodation and food services industry, which saw openings grow by 254,000.
According to the federal government, the largest month-over-month increase in job openings was seen in the accommodation and food services industry, which saw openings grow by 254,000.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

The spike in resignations, though, has been a boon for many American workers, who now have more choice and can negotiate higher pay as companies attempt to ramp up their workforce to meet the surge in demand brought on by the economic reopening.

However, if the latest data is any indication, the “Great Resignation” movement is beginning to lose steam as employees settle into their jobs and increasingly stay put.

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