Quits in transportation, warehousing sectors contribute to a November record: BLS – Supply Chain Dive

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. quit rate hit a record high of 3% in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with 4.5 million quits recorded that month — the highest number recorded since the Department of Labor began recording quits in December 2000. September also had a quit rate of 3%, with 4.4 million employees quitting their jobs.
  • Some industries saw far more quits than others. Transportation, warehousing and utilities; accommodation and food services; and healthcare and social assistance saw the highest increase in quits, BLS said.
  • Though the quit rate is high, workers are not necessarily getting out of the job market. “People who quit are taking other jobs, not leaving the workforce,” Heidi Shierholz, president of the Economic Policy Institute, tweeted in response to the report.

Dive Insight:

With remaining workers exhausted and the workplace in flux, many employers have questioned when they might see the end of the Great Resignation. According to the BLS, the answer seems to be: not yet.

But while workers continue to quit in droves, as Shierholz noted above, they aren’t leaving the job market. Rather, the picture painted by BLS’ data points toward LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky’s term “the Great Reshuffle,” which he described in a post as “a talent migration unlike anything we’ve seen before.” In fact, the number of new hires far surpassed recorded quits in November, with 6.7 million new hires, demonstrating unprecedented movement within the job market.

Employers who have spent the past year or two sweetening their offerings and considering how to meet their employees’ needs may be well-positioned to net some of those workers driving up the quit rate.

A variety of consulting firms have spent the past year surveying workers on their top priorities in their hunt for a new position; findings showed that workers on the hunt commonly feel stagnant and underappreciated in their roles and are searching for better career opportunities, better compensation and benefits and better work-life balance, among other things.

The BLS data also demonstrates that jobs in lower-wage sectors like retail and food service were particularly likely to be abandoned by workers, while quits affected other industries far less. This likely has several causes, including workers moving within these industries as some companies have offered more competitive pay and benefit packages, and workers moving into other, higher-paying jobs; Shierholz called this a sign of “healthy dynamism” within the economy. 


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