A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November, federal report shows

A record number of American workers left their jobs in November ,according to federal statistics released Tuesday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said 4.5 million workers voluntarily left their jobs in the month. That number increased from 4.2 million openings in October.

The largest increases in resignations occurred in hospitality and health care industries. Transportation, warehousing and utilities also experienced an increase in resignations.

For November, the number of job openings totaled 10.56 million, lower than the 11 million estimate from FactSet and a decline from 11.09 million in October. The level was well ahead of the 6.88 million total of those out of work and looking for jobs in November, according to the government’s nonfarm payrolls report for that month.

The job openings rate was 6.6%, down from about 7% in October but well ahead of the 4.5% from the prior year.

“The Great Resignation shows no sign of abating, with quits hitting a new record. The question is why, and the answers are for starkly different reasons,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union. “COVID-19 burnout and fear are continuing, but also, many Americans have the confidence to quit given the high level of job openings and rising pay.”

A separate economic report Tuesday showed that manufacturing activity in December was slower than expected. The ISM Manufacturing Index registered a 58.7% reading, below the 60% expectation and a drop from 61.1% in November.

The data was drawn from the Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey. The numbers did not include the impact of the Omicron variant, which has impacted businesses in recent months.

“While each successive wave of the pandemic caused less economic damage, there is still a risk to the labor market from the current surge of cases. Hopefully any disruption is temporary and minimal, because the outlook for 2022 is strong,” Bunker added.

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