According to the Department of Labor, 4.3 million Americans left their permanent positions in August this year alone. This corresponds to almost three percent of all employees in the country and is the highest rate that has been measured since the statistics were introduced in 2001. Almost 20 million people gave up their previous job within five months.
In earlier years, monthly termination rates between one and two percent were common, and these fluctuated up and down with the business cycle. But since autumn 2020, the values have been well above the range that was once usual.
The statisticians of the Ministry of Labor give no reasons for the many farewells in their report. However, experts agree that there is a whole bundle of motives and behavioral changes behind the development. For example, the International Monetary Fund recently stated that the recovery of the US labor market after overcoming the Corona recession is going differently than after earlier economic slumps, reports the “Tagesanzeiger”.
All in all, this means that there is an acute shortage of labor in numerous industries – with all the consequences that this has in a market economy: Companies are forced to offer applicants higher salaries or other amenities, from more vacation to cheaper health insurance to one better child care. There is also one innovation: the pandemic has proven that employees in many industries can work from home instead of in the company, without the employer having to fear that they will be lazy.