WASHINGTON — Workers are quitting their jobs at record levels, according to new numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August, according to federal data released Tuesday.
That translates into 2.9% of U.S. workers leaving their jobs during the month — which is also a record.
The high attrition rates are being felt across workplaces and professions in Maryland and across the country. Workers face burnout and frustrations over pay cuts, stretched operations and other impacts of the pandemic. Some employees are also leaving jobs because of COVID vaccine mandates imposed by their employers or government entities.
Employers have been struggling to fill jobs across sectors. Lower paying positions with limited benefits and mobility have been especially hard to fill — especially after the job cuts and reductions in pay and hours during the pandemic. The overall economy and sectors, including health care, are still down jobs from the depths of employment losses during the pandemic last year.
The federal economic agency reported 721,000 retail workers, 534,000 health care workers and 971,000 workers in the tourism and restaurant industries left their jobs nationally in August. Those are all significant sectors on the Eastern Shore.
Some professional workers are also quitting as they wrestle with smaller staffs, longer hours and more work during the pandemic. Other white-collar and high-tech employees have also been leaving positions over some employers reopening offices and ending or limiting remote work that thrived during the early stages of the pandemic.
BLS reported 869,000 workers in finance, information sectors, real estate and professional services quit their jobs in August.
Some other major employers in Maryland including hospital systems, state universities, airlines, the federal government, U.S. military and their contractors are mandating vaccines to their workers.
That is also causing some departures.
Slower job growth, record high quit rates and inflation are all challenging the U.S. economy and President Joe Biden as he pushes for increases infrastructure spending.