Record number of people quit their jobs in August

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In the U.S., the month of August saw a record number of people quitting their jobs.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, it’s estimated that more than four million workers called it quits – nearly three percent of the total workforce.

In August, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs, marking the highest quit rate in more than 20 years.

It all comes as the U.S. faces a massive worker shortage. Some of the sectors seeing the biggest losses are the healthcare industry, hotels, restaurants, food services and retail.

Dr. Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist and Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, said that over the course of the pandemic, corporate profits have skyrocketed.

He said employers that are unwilling to share the value their workers help create are getting pushback and attrition as workers move toward employers who do.

“We’ve had so much rise in demand for labor that there’s a lot of companies out there making offers, being aggressive trying to find staff and competing with each other harder than they have in the past,” he said.

In some cases, people have left jobs without taking on a new one.

But, with the demand for workers so high, Dr. Sojourner said people feel more comfortable making a move now than they have in the past. It also helps that right now, wages in some industries are rising.

“Working conditions have deteriorated in a lot of ways, so one way companies can make up for that is to offer higher pay. They can also try to improve working conditions, they can also take public health history and try to protect their workers’ health,” Dr. Sojourner said.

Officials also say a fear of contracting COVID-19 is playing a part in all of this.

The Labor Department’s report shows that the increase in quits was heavily concentrated in sectors that involve close contact with the public.

Although the unemployment rate fell, federal officials say hiring was weak in September – a trend also seen in the month of August.

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