The ‘Great Resignation’ can certainly not be viewed as a blip. It is now entering its second year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that March matched November’s record of 4.5 million quits – this is the highest number of quits in one month since records began in 2000. This brings the quit rate to 3%.
This means the US has seen its tenth month in a row of more than four million resignations. In January, 4.2 million workers resigned, this grew to 4.3 million in February.
The sectors leading resignations in February were retail, manufacturing and state education. But this has changed in March – professional and business services, as well as construction, led the ‘Great Resignation’ that month.
Not all doom and gloom
Although it is clear employers have a tricky few months ahead with hiring, there are promising signs for the US job market’s general recovery.
Fitch Ratings believes that the US could recover all the jobs lost during the pandemic by September 2022. In fact, 13 states have already done this, and 48 have recovered 70% of the jobs lost.
This prediction is supported by BLS data that found job openings also hit a series high in the 21st century of 11.5 million in March. Retail and the durable goods sector are particularly booming right now.
In addition, the US saw a 428,000 increase in April non-farm payroll numbers. This beat Bloomberg’s estimate of 391,000 and brings April in line with March’s revised numbers.
Promisingly BLS’ data found the most growth in the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic – leisure and hospitality and transport that saw huge payroll gains (78,000 and 52,000 respectively).
The unemployment rate stayed unchanged at 3.6%, which is the same proportion as February 2020. Further to this, the labor force participation rate reached 62.2%; this is consistent with March figures.
Clearly, things are on the up for the US job market. But if employers want to reduce their attrition rate, as well as successfully hire more top talent, they need to listen to what employees and candidates want.