Great Resignation Not Over: 4.2 Million Americans Quit their Jobs in October

Mid adult businessman celebrating after leaving the office with his belongings.
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The number of Americans who quit their jobs in October remained high, decreasing only slightly to 4.2 million, down from a record 4.4 million in September, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report that came out on Wednesday, Dec. 8. 

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In addition, the number of job openings increased to 11 million in October, from 10.4 million in September, demonstrating the continued tight labor market, underscored once again by the discrepancy between demand and willing workers — what many are calling “the Great Resignation.”

Quits decreased in several industries with the largest decreases in transportation, warehousing, and utilities, finance and insurance, and arts, entertainment and recreation.

However, quits increased in state and local government, excluding education.

The largest quit rates were in accommodation and food services, with 6%; leisure and hospitality, with 5.7%; and retail trade, with 4.4%, according to Labor Department data.

In terms of region, the largest quit rates were in the South and the Midwest, data shows.

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Jeanniey Walden, CMO of DailyPay, told GOBankingRates, “has the Great Resignation peaked? Hardly.”

“Job quits may have moderated in October, but they still notched their third consecutive month above 4 million, a level never reached before this August,” Walden said.

She added that while theories abound as to what is driving the Great Resignation there remain two fundamental drivers: available job supply and rising competitive wages.

“JOLTS recorded a scorching 11 million openings in October. This came on the heels of the Conference Board’s budget survey yesterday which predicted a 3.9% increase in wages next year, the highest on record since 2008 — a year more known for the preceding the Great Recession than the Great Resignation,” she added.

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The largest job openings increased were in the accommodation and food services industry, nondurable goods manufacturing and educational services, according to the Labor Department. The number of job openings increased in the South region.

On the other hand, job openings decreased in state and local governments, excluding education.

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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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