Job Openings Remain High as Quit Rate Hits Record

November 12, 2021

The number of U.S. job openings fell to 10.4 million in September, down from the record 11.1 million in July, as a record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs.  Education, health care, accommodation and food services, and retail trade were particularly hard hit.

There were 1.4 job openings for every unemployed American in September.

Quits are consuming almost 69% of the total number of new hires every month, making it difficult for employers to add employees.

But the quits problem varies by employer size.  The current quit rate for employers with 5,000 or more employees is just 1.0% compared to 2.7% for employers with 1,000 to 4,999 employees and 3.5% for employers with 250 to 999 employees.  Meanwhile, employers of all sizes have near record job opening rates. 

Information, health services, and professional and business services struggling to find workers.  There are 2.4 job openings for every unemployed worker in the information industry, 2.3 job openings for every unemployed worker in the education and health services industry and 2.2 job openings for every unemployed worker in the professional and business services industry.

At the other end of the spectrum, mining, construction, and nondurable goods manufacturing have fewer job openings than unemployed Americans.

Outlook:  According to a recent CivicScience survey, another record-setting level of resignations may occur in the near future. As of early November, 13% of workers say they plan to leave their current jobs soon.