4.3 Million Americans Quit in January 2022 as ‘Employee Choice Continues To Drive Workplace Trends’

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In a sign that the labor market continues to be tight, the number of job openings was little changed at 11.3 million in January, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report that came out on March 9.

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In addition, while the number of quits edged down slightly in January, it still remains high, with 4.3 million. Quits decreased in retail trade and in information, but increased in finance and insurance, according to Labor Department data.  The number of quits decreased in the Midwest region.

“The American worker switches jobs more often than sneakers, Jeanniey Walden, CMO of DailyPay told GOBankingRates. “According to the latest JOLTS data, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in January, the third highest month on record. More telling, quits outnumbered layoffs three to one as employee choice continues to drive workplace trends. Meanwhile, labor demand greatly exceeded supply with 11.3 million job openings, well ahead of estimates and up 56% year over year. There are now 5 million more job openings than unemployed, the biggest gap on record. To compete for scarce labor supply, employers are increasingly innovative in their recruiting and retention efforts, turning to technology solutions to activate their workforces.”

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The Labor Department said that job openings decreased in several industries, with the largest  decreases in accommodation and food services; transportation, warehousing, and utilities. On the other hand, job openings increased in other services and in durable goods manufacturing. Job openings decreased in the West region.

Ronni Zehavi, CEO of HR tech platform HiBob told GOBankingRates that while we aren’t seeing quit rates where we once were, it doesn’t mean that employees have stopped thinking about what’s next for them.

“We’re no longer in the Great Resignation but rather in the Great Contemplation. Workers are rethinking not only their careers but also what they want out of life, and looking at how their job plays into that,” Zehavi said.

“This report shows that American workers are still not satisfied with what employers are offering, and are still searching for opportunities that offer greater experiences, purpose and cultures. What does this mean for employers? It means that they must do more to build a workplace that fosters people’s growth, gives them opportunity to make mistakes, and creates an environment where they can bring their authentic selves to work,” he added.

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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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