Story at a glance
- The Labor Department released its August jobs data on Tuesday.
- According to the data, 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August — a series record.
- Contributing factors motivating the exodus range across a bevy of unmet needs and reasonings.
New data released by the Labor Department on Tuesday revealed 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August — a series record.
The exodus came as the quitting rate rose to 2.9 percent.
Though some occupations saw increases in the number of people quitting their jobs, while others saw decreases, the jobs ranged across a number of different industries. Quittings increased in the accommodation and food services industries, wholesale trade, state and local government careers and jobs in the field of education. Meanwhile, real estate and rental and leasing jobs saw decreases in quittings, though still at higher rates.
“Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee,” the Labor Department wrote. “Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs.”
Contributing factors motivating the exodus range across a bevy of unmet needs and reasonings. According to a recent survey in Grant Thornton’s “State of Work in America,” half of those surveyed stated they would give up a raise in salary in exchange for more “flexibility in when and where they work.”
And many say the public health crisis forced them to reassess their jobs and priorities. In February, the Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of workers reported that the pandemic and job losses have made them consider a change in occupation altogether.
However, burnout remains the top motivation for workers to leave and seek a job elsewhere.
“Attracting and retaining employees, especially in a tight labor market, requires thinking like a marketing professional,” said Tim Glowa, a principal in Grant Thornton Human Capital Services. “You need to understand employee pain points, then brainstorm potential solutions to address them. If you can fix that pain point, you’ve made a big difference in the eyes of employees.”
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