A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November

By Anneken Tappe, CNN Business

    (CNN) -- A record 4.5 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This pushed the quits rate to 3%, matching the high from September.

Workers particularly quit their jobs in the hospitality industry, which had by far the highest quits rate at 6.1% in November, as well as health care. The number of job leavers in transportation, warehousing and utilities also increased.

"Workers continued to quit their jobs at a historic rate. The low-wage sectors directly impacted by the pandemic continued to be the source of much of the elevated quitting," said Nick Bunker, director of research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, in emailed comments.

The big question for 2022 is whether this dynamic will persist.

The high quits rate is a symptom of the tight labor market where workers can find a new -- and potentially better -- job quickly.

The November data released Tuesday doesn't yet factor in the arrival of the Omicron variant on America's shores, which pushed infections higher and put many workers at risk to contract the virus at their places of work.

Including layoffs and discharges, the number of total separations was 6.3 million in November.

Hotels and restaurants registered the biggest increase in separations, while also logging the biggest decline in open jobs, the data showed.

America had 10.6 million jobs to fill in November, a slight decline compared with just over 11 million job openings in October. America's available jobs peaked at 11.1 million last July.

Positions in finance and insurance, as well as the federal government jobs increased in November.

Hires were little changed at 6.7 million.

This is a developing story. It will be updated

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