- There’s one worker per job opening as of May 2021.
- The latest
JOLTSreport showed quitswere still high, but not as high as the 20-year record in April.
- Quits varied by industry. 859,000 workers in trade, transportation, and utilities left their jobs.
That’s lower than April’s 20-year high, where just shy of 4 million workers left their jobs. Even so – April aside – it’s still one of the highest levels since December 2000, when the BLS started collecting data on quits and vacancies. Meanwhile, 9.2 million jobs are open – about the same as in April.
“While no longer at record levels, the high level of quits means workers are still confident enough to leave their jobs for a new one,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, wrote. “Elevated quits emphasize that labor shortages are a double whammy for employers-it’s not just harder to hire workers right now, it’s also harder to retain them.”
On an industry wide level, trade, transportation, and utilities lead the pack for the pure number of workers quitting, with leisure and hospitality coming in a close second. However, the quit rate for leisure and hospitality remains the highest, staying firm at 5.3%. Within leisure and hospitality, the quit rate was unchanged for accommodation and food services at 5.7%.
The Economic Policy Institute has its own breakdown of how many available workers there are per job opening by industry using three-month averages of
Elise Gould, senior economist at EPI, noted on Twitter that when looking at data averaged over the last three months, several industries still have high ratios of unemployed workers to job openings.
Across the entire economy, there was one available worker for every job opening. It shows the continuation of a new pandemic trend: Job openings and unemployment simultaneously staying high, rather than jobless workers flocking to new positions and pushing unemployment down.
The Wednesday data release reflects the labor situation in May, which notably predates enhanced
All told, the data shows that workers may be reacting to a tight
In the meantime, employers are trying to lure in workers with one-off bonuses that are paid out over the course of a few months, in an effort to increase retention. Wages are also ticking up higher, although leisure and hospitality pay – while greatly on the rise – still remains low.
But there’s still a fiscal cliff looming: Millions of unemployed Americans will see their federal unemployment benefits end come September. It could also make it more difficult to quit and move around with ease as millions more reenter the labor force.