Americans quit jobs at a record pace in November as job openings hovered close to their all-time highs in a sign that workers continued to hold most of the leverage before the omicron variant sent COVID-19 cases soaring. The number of workers quitting jobs vaulted to 4. million from 4.2 million, above the prior record of 4.4 million reached in September, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That means 3% of workers voluntarily left their positions, matching September's record high. Employers posted 10.6 million job openings, down from a near-record 11 million the previous month and just below July’s all-time high, Labor said in its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Openings have topped 10 million for six straight months.And that jump in quits was headed up by a big increase in Accomodation and Food Services, with an increase of 159,000 from October’s figure. Since vaccinations became available to most Americans in March, that sector has had a larger increase in quits than hires in every month since August.
Hires +45,000 Finance/Insurance
Hires +30,000 Friday’s December jobs report should give an indication as to whether the breakout of omnicron was starting to have an effect on hiring (but worth noting, that survey is 3 weeks and a lot of COVID cases ago), but given the high level of quits and new hires, I would bet wage growth will be strong, particularly at the lower wage levels, as it has been throughout 2021’s Great Resignation.