Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square
The COVID-19 pandemic sent the U.S. unemployment rate up to a post Great Depression high of 14.7% in April 2020. Though the jobless rate has since fallen back below 4%, the U.S. job market today is far different from pre-pandemic norms. One difference is that Americans are now quitting their jobs at a historic pace.
A record high 4.5 million Americans quit their job in November 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – continuing a trend of record-breaking quit rates throughout the year. Broad explanations for what has been dubbed the Great Resignation include child care demands in the face of school closures, pandemic-related workplace risks or challenges, and a desire for a better job or one with higher pay and more benefits.
According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 68,000 people in Louisiana quit their jobs in November 2021, the most recent month of available data – a 21.4% increase from one year earlier.
The total number of monthly quits in the state is equal to 3.6% of the total workforce, higher than the 3.0% share of workers nationwide who quit their jobs in November.
Though there are exceptions, states with higher unemployment rates often have lower quit rates. Since quits do not include workers who retired, each of the 4.5 million Americans who quit in November will presumably take another job. A weaker job market, therefore, may act as a deterrent to those who consider quitting in some parts of the country, while a stronger job market may encourage some workers. The November jobless rate in Louisiana stood at 4.1%, compared to the national unemployment rate of 3.9%.