By Anneken Tappe, CNN Business
(CNN) — A record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September as the sheer volume of available jobs is empowering workers to have their pick.
The nation had 10.4 million open jobs that month as the worker shortage crisis continues, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Friday. It was a modest decrease from the 10.6 million open jobs in August.
Jobs particularly increased in the health care and sector and in state and local government.
“The Delta variant is still visible in the September JOLTS report,” said Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, in emailed comments. But he noted “we do know from the October jobs report that the labor market did get on more stable ground.”
The slowing demand for workers in the leisure and hospitality industry was the cause of the modest decline in available jobs in September.
“The pace of people quitting across the labor market is remarkable,” Bunker said, “but the concentration among a few sectors is eye-popping. Quits are up the most in sectors where most work is in-person or relatively low paying.”
The arts, entertainment and recreation sector saw the largest increase in quits, followed by other services and state and local government education.
Employers hired 6.5 million people, while separations — which include voluntary quits — stood at 6.2 million. Compared with the huge number of jobs available, this underscores America’s worker shortage problem.
As of September, the nation was still short 4.7 million jobs compared with February 2020, before the pandemic hit. Job creation slowed in August and September amid the threat posed by the Delta variant but sped up again in October, as last week’s jobs report showed.
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