Job Openings, Quits Hold Near Record Highs

SHRM News Alert (06/01/22)

Available jobs fell to 11.4 million in April, just under the highest number on record, according to the monthly JOLTS report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition to the continued high volume of job openings, the number of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs also remains high. Quits ticked down to 4.4 million in April, just under the record high. As a share of the labor force, the quits rate held at 2.9 percent.

Job openings surged to record highs throughout 2021 and have since stabilized at levels nearly twice as high as the pre-pandemic norm. Yet the recovery in labor force participation has been much slower, leaving the labor market with a massive gap between supply and demand that’s persisted into 2022. Job openings outnumbered unemployed workers by about 5.5 million in April.

April also marks the 11th consecutive month that more than 4 million workers left their jobs. The wave of quitting signals workers feel comfortable enough amid record-high openings to switch jobs in pursuit of better pay or working conditions. Employers have responded to the exodus by raising wages as they compete to attract talent, and that higher pay is luring workers away from their current jobs, experts said.

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