4.4 Million Americans Quit Their Jobs in February

by Taylor Cunningham
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According to a recent report, the labor shortage crisis is continuing. In February alone, 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs while employers were looking to fill over 10 million positions for the seventh month in a row.

At a Glance

  • The “Great Resignation” continues as millions of Americans quit their jobs last month.
  • Most of the losses came from the education and arts sectors. And other industries, such as finance and insurance are leveling out.
  • The Labor Department suspects that workers are leaving for higher-paying jobs.
  • Record-high inflation has caused lower salaries for most workers, but employers are offering higher pay to incoming workers.

The Labor Department Releases that Americans Quit Jobs

On Tuesday, the Labor Department released a report saying that the total resignations equaled about 2.9% of the workforce. While the number is slightly lower than last November’s peak at 4.5 million, it’s still well above the pre-pandemic average of 3.6 million.

The number of job openings in February rested at 11.3 million, which is the third-highest amount in U.S. history. And the calculations mean that there are currently 1.8 jobs available for every seeker.

The majority of the openings remain in the educational, arts, entertainment, and recreational sectors as well as with the federal government. And most of the resignations came from manufacturing, retail, and state and local government educational jobs. But in a positive change, fewer workers left their positions in finance and insurance.

The reason so many Americans feel compelled to quit their jobs is that inflation has caused a salary decrease. Earlier this month, the White House announced that the average hourly pay for all employees dropped by 2.6% last month from the same time a year ago. And from January, that pay was down by 0.8%.

So analysts believe this labor trend, dubbed the “Great Resignation,” comes from workers leaving jobs to find higher pay and better working conditions. Because to deal with the cycle, businesses have been forced to offer more impressive employment packages to incoming workers, despite not raising the wages of current employees.

However, some believe that the workforce issues may start to level out soon. The news from the Labor Department came just days before the March report is due. On Friday morning, it is expected to show that employers hired 490,000 employees. That number would be a gain of 678,000 in February.

And on top of that, analysts believe that the unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in March. If that is true, it will mean that the country has the lowest rate since the pandemic began in 2020.