A record 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, evidence of the considerable leverage workers have in today’s economy.
About 2.9% of the workforce quit in August, up from 2.7% in July, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, released Tuesday. That marks the highest quit rate since the report began in 2000.
The number of workers who quit rose by 242,000 from July. Quits rose in accommodation and food services, wholesale trade and state and local government education.
Companies continue to grapple with a serious worker shortage. Job openings remained very high at the end of August at 10.4 million, the JOLTS report showed. However, that marks a decline of 659,000 from the end of July.
The numbers show the worker shortage was even worse than realized this summer. The number of job openings in July was revised higher to 11.1 million, a record high since this report began in 2000.
The JOLTS report indicated that hiring decreased in August to 6.3 million, falling in accommodation and food services and state and local government education.
The report shows the level of labor demand “remained very high” in early September when enhanced unemployment benefits expired, economists at Goldman Sachs said.
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