A recent survey conducted by the JOLTS (Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey) showed that Americans are quitting their jobs in large numbers, with figures reaching 4.3 million in August.
High quitting rates usually showcase how poised American workers feel about their jobs. Recent data also suggests that the fear of getting infected by the Delta variant of COVID-19 could potentially be driving workers onto the sidelines.
During an increase in COVID cases in August, around 892,000 workers in the customer-facing lodging and foodservice industry abandoned their employment. This represents a rise of 157,000 over the previous month.
Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies in the United States decreased marginally to 10.4 million in August, but this is down from a high of 11.1 million in July.
The number of job openings and the amount of people walking off the job has become a growing source of concern for the country's economic recovery.
A job becomes official until someone is employed, yet the economy only created 194,000 jobs in September. This is the year's tiniest monthly increase.
The US labor market is still short of around five million jobs recovering from the loss of 22 million jobs last year in the first wave of COVID lockdowns.
According to a National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) poll, 51% of small business owners stated they had job openings in September that they couldn't fill.
Businesses have started giving incentives such as signing bonuses and pay increases to get workers off the sidelines. Last month, 42% of small company owners indicated they increased salaries, and this is an increase of one point from August and a 48-year high.
COVID worries, a lack of childcare alternatives, and savings accounts credited with stimulus money from the US government have been suggested as likely reasons for workers' absence.