TAMPA, Fla. — A record number of people quit their jobs in September as employers continue to have millions of job openings that they are struggling to fill.
According to the Department of Labor, 4.4 million workers, or 3 percent of the total workforce, quit their jobs in December. It marked the highest number of workers quitting their jobs since the federal government began tracking the data.
Moreover, the number of job openings in September was 10.4 million -- tying August for the second-highest figure ever recorded and down only slightly from the record 10.9 million job openings seen in July.
The Department of Labor said job openings increased in health care and social assistance (+141,000); state and local government, excluding education (+114,000); wholesale trade (+51,000); and information (+51,000). Job openings decreased in state and local government education (-114,000); other services (-104,000); real estate and rental and leasing (-65,000); and educational services (-45,000).
The fresh data reflect an ongoing trend among U.S. workers who are reevaluating their work situation and life following the shock of the pandemic. It also reflects a change in the employer-employee relationship with employees for the first time in years holding more of an upper hand.
According to CNN, for many workers, care responsibilities at home prevent them from going back to work, while for others the risk of contracting the virus is still too high.
Adding to the unknown nature of the labor market will be the looming vaccine mandate. Most employers will mandate a COVID-19 vaccine or may be required to do so by the federal government. So far, there haven't been a mass loss of jobs from vaccine mandates.