A Record Number of Americans Quit Jobs in November

Tags: Currents World News

Currents News Staff

Job seekers in the U.S. have more than ten million open positions to look into right now.

Much of that number is because of record numbers of people quitting, but not all industries are being impacted equally.

A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November, mainly from low wage positions. For months now, workers have been resigning en masse.

Bar back Ifeoma Dzimako, who quit her job this summer, says it’s a labor market revolution.

“I’ve done it since I was 15. I love the customer service industry. I love putting a smile on people’s faces. But it got to a point where I felt like I was giving a little bit too much of myself,” said Dzimako.

As a bar back in Washington D.C., she was guaranteed a $5.05 tipped minimum wage. But with fewer customers coming in, that meant fewer tips – with more responsibility.

“Every day I had to enforce certain things where I’m like, this is not in my job description. And now I’m being paid less,” she said.

More than one million people quit their leisure and hospitality jobs in November.

With hundreds of thousands more quitting low wage retail and health care jobs. There are still 10.6 million unfilled positions.

“People feel empowered and they should, because the job market is really, really tight and they have opportunity. If they’re not happy with what they’re doing, they’re going to take another one. So, I think quit rates are gonna remain high for a long time to come,” said economist Mark Zandi.

And as Omicron sweeps the country, this silence is what many restaurant owners are facing.

Michael Dorf, CEO of City Winery says he’s doing everything to keep the staff he has left, even with less business.

“I don’t wanna afford to lose a single person and we’re still hiring as ironic as that is,” said Dorf.

He normally operates with 1200 employees across his 12 restaurant and music venues.

“We’re only up to about 950 around the country. We’ve seen people quit on the spot,” he said.
He says he’s risen wages to above $15 an hour, and into the 20s for kitchen staff.

And that’s what Dzimako is looking for.

Until then, she’s moved back in with her parents and is back in school getting her sociology degree – while doing gig work part-time.

“If they were to offer us a one fair wage $15 plus tips on top – I’d go back. I love illuminating somebody’s day, but at the same time I have a little bit more self-worth now,” she said.

The Labor Department reports 200-thousand new jobs were added to the economy in December.

That’s only half of what economists had predicted.