The number of Americans who quit their jobs reached record levels in September at 4.4 million, according to data from the federal government. 

According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Friday, the number of job openings didn’t shift much and was at 10.4 million on the final business day of the month of September. However, the rate of people quitting rose. 

The report noted: 

Hires and total separations were little changed at 6.5 million and 6.2 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits level and rate increased to a series high of 4.4 million and 3.0 percent, respectively. The layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 0.9 percent. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, by four geographic regions, and by establishment size class. 

As reported by The Washington Post, the amount of people leaving their jobs varied across sectors.

“In September, the number of quits increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+56,000); a category labeled “other services” (+47,000); and education and health services (+54,000),” The Post noted. 

“In general, industries with the highest percentages of workers quitting include trade, transportation, and utilities, particularly retail, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality industries like arts and entertainment, and hotels and restaurants. A whopping 6.6 percent of workers in accommodation and food services quit their job in the month,” the outlet added. 

The Post also pointed out the location differentiation of workers leaving their places of employment, noting that the “South, the West and Midwest have the highest numbers of workers quitting their jobs, at 3.3, 3.1 and 3.0 percent, while only 2.2 percent of workers in the Northeast are quitting jobs.”

While workers quit their jobs en masse after the coronavirus pandemic in search of better salaries or different working conditions, analysts have also pointed to the increase in government handouts from the Biden Administration as a reason that many people in the workforce don’t feel the need to return to work. 

A new analysis also showed that government welfare initiatives push able-bodied men to not enter the workforce. 

The Daily Wire noted, “Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee argue in their ‘Reconnecting Americans to the Benefits of Work’ report that a significant share of the young men who receive handouts from the government are ‘voluntarily disconnected’ from work:” 

Only 12 percent of inactive, prime-age, able-bodied men said they wanted a job or were open to work. Among men who are inactive for reasons other than disability, retirement, education, or homemaking, 41 percent personally receive government assistance.

One key piece of evidence that suggests labor force trends are driven largely by workers, not employers, is that the decline in prime-age labor force participation has been mostly voluntary, as told by the men themselves. Three out of four disconnected men say they do not want a job, and only 12 percent of inactive, prime-age, able-bodied men said they wanted a job or were open to it in 2014. If more men are genuinely choosing to stay home with the kids, go to school, or retire early, policymakers should not be concerned.

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