The “big quit” is a term coined by the media and labor pundits. Americans quit their jobs, voluntarily, in record numbers. According to CNBC, “A record 4.5 million workers left their jobs in November.” The industry that people are leaving the fastest is accommodation and food services.
It is unclear why so many people quit the job. One theory revolves around the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who can afford not to work don’t want to return to businesses where people work nearby — especially older Americans, who seem much more likely to get sick from COVID-19, and even die. (On the other hand, these are US cities that created jobs during the pandemic.)
Another theory has its basis in the notion that fewer people want to return to low-paying jobs. Many hope to hold on for better compensation, in a period when the needs of employers remain high. (These are 25 lowest paying jobs in the United States.)
Another possibility involves government assistance given to many Americans. This has allowed them to put in place financial safety nets in some cases, which has made it easier for them to stay out of the labor market, for the time being.
To determine which industries people were leaving the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. looked at data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its January Job Openings and Turnover Survey. According to the report, November’s figure was up 8.9% from October’s, with 3% of Americans quitting their jobs in November. The number of people who left their jobs that month varies greatly from industry to industry, especially when expressed as a percentage.
Click here to see the industries people are leaving fastest
The hotel and restaurant industry had the highest quit rate, at 6.9% in November. These jobs tend to be low paying and contact with customers and co-workers can be high, posing a risk of COVID-19 infection. The percentage of people who quit in the leisure and hospitality industry as a whole was almost as high, at 6.4%.