Renewed Focus on Employee Retention Needed as 4.3 Million Americans Quit Jobs in December

happy businessman with cardboard box with office supplies in hands standing outside office building, quitting job concept.
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The Great Resignation is slowing down slightly but is far from over. The number of Americans who quit their jobs in December reached 4.3 million, a slight decrease from November’s high of 4.5 million, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report that came out on Feb. 1.

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The quits rate was little changed at 2.9%, following November’s 3%, according to the Labor Department.

In addition, the number of job openings was little changed at 10.9 million in December, following 10.6 million job openings in November, reflecting the still-tight labor market, according to the data.

Ronni Zehavi, CEO of HR tech platform HiBob, told GOBankingRates that while quit rates are leveling, it doesn’t mean that companies can back off of programs focused on retention or recruitment, as modern employees expect their employers to think of them as people and respect them as individuals with personal lives.

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“Whether it’s offering increased flexibility, strong compensation packages, or increased flexibility, meaningful benefits are critical to retention and recruitment,” Zehavi said. “And while perks can go a long way in terms of keeping people happy, companies must make sure they aren’t overcompensating with perks for unmanageable workloads.

“Today, modern companies are creating dynamic workforces with a mix of full-time and part-time employees, remote workers, and freelancers to make sure they keep both productivity and employee satisfaction high.”

Quits decreased in several industries, including health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services and construction, according to the report. In addition, the number of quits decreased in the South.

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The largest quit rates were in accommodation and food services, with 6.1%; leisure and hospitality, with 5.8%;  retail trade, with 4.9%; and trade, transportation, and utilities, with 3.8%.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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