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A record-high number of Americans quit their jobs in November while job openings fell slightly

The hiring boom showed up in lower-wage hospitality jobs at first — but now, recruiters see a red-hot job market everywhere.

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  • US job openings in November decreased slightly to 10.6 million, compared to 11 million in October.
  • The number of Americans quitting their jobs reached a record-high of 4.5 million. 
  • Compared to the 4.2 million who quit their jobs in October, it’s clear the Great Resignation is persisting.

The number of job openings fell slightly in November while the number of Americans quitting their jobs reached an all-time high, showing the Great Resignation isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Open positions in the US decreased to 10.6 million in November, according to Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, data released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics on Tuesday. The largest decrease in job openings took place in accommodation and food services, with 261,000 fewer openings, while the finance and federal government sectors saw slight increases in jobs available.

And the number of Americans who quit their jobs in November showed no signs of slowing down. Quits reached a record high of 4.5 million, with the largest increase once again coming from accommodation and food services. Health care followed behind, with 52,000 quits, as the pandemic continues to spread, with the transportation sector losing 33,000 workers, both industries hit by the ongoing labor shortage.

 

Compared to job openings and quits in October, the November data isn’t too far off. Job openings in the US rose to 11 million in October, with the hotel and restaurant industries leading the way with 254,000 openings. And while quits did fall to 4.2 million the same month, it marked the third-highest quit number ever. 

Throughout the pandemic, the US has seen not only a labor shortage, but a growing number of Americans leaving their jobs, and the November data reflects that continuing shift in worker sentiment.

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