Quits Reach Record 4.5 Million

January 4, 2022
Author: Mallory Vachon, Ph.D., Sr. Economist

Talent Acquisition in High Demand to Fill Open Roles

Key takeaways from the Bureau of Labor Statistics November JOLTS report:

  1. Demand for talent remains strong. There were 10.6M job openings in November but only 6.9M unemployed workers to fill open positions.
U.S. Hiring & Turnover_November 2021

  1. Great Resignation continues. A record 4.5M workers quit their job in November. While some workers may be leaving the labor force, most are switching jobs for higher pay or more flexibility, highlighting the challenges businesses face in retaining talent in the current environment.

  2. Hires remain elevated. Businesses hired 6.7M employees in November, but there is still a shortage of talent – before the pandemic hires topped 6M only once since 2000. These elevated numbers reflect the turnover as employers hire to backfill roles from employees who quit their jobs.

The effects of omicron – which emerged in the U.S. in late November – are not reflected in these numbers. Employee turnover is already high, but it is likely that quits will be even more elevated in December and January due to omicron.

Another challenge with surges in case counts is the impact on hiring – employee absence due to illness or caregiving responsibilities could further slow hiring processes, reducing the number of hires early in 2022. Talent acquisition professionals are hard at work filling these roles and demand for their services will remain high in 2022.