The number of US workers leaving their jobs hit a record high in November, suggesting the ‘great resignation’ has become a reality.
The Department of Labor’s statistics showed that 4.5 million employees voluntarily left their jobs during November, and there was a 370,000 increase in resignations.
Reflecting the situation in the UK, most job openings were to be found in accommodation and food service industries, healthcare, social care, transport, warehousing and utilities. Job openings also increased in finance and insurance and federal government.
On the last day of November there were 10.6 million open vacancies, down by around 500,000 but still close to record highs.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the number of layoffs during November remained broadly the same at 1.4 million, and this was the same across all regions.
In the 12 months to the end of November 2021, hires totalled 74.5 million, while “separations” (people leaving the workforce) totalled 68.7 million, meaning there was a net gain in jobs of 5.9 million.
The job openings rate was lower in small employers of between 10 and 49 employees, and increased in larger employers with more than 5,000 staff.
Employees were most likely to leave their job voluntarily in the smallest employers (up to nine employees), while organisations with 1,000 to 4,999 saw the most exits from the workforce, whether through redundancy or leaving for a new job.