A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in March

A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in March Source: Pexels

The US labour market continues to overheat, with a record 4.5 million Americans choosing to quit their jobs in March, leaving many companies struggling to find the employees they need.

Professional and business services were most affected, along with the construction sector, increasing the number of vacancies to 11.5 million.

ZipRecruiter Chief Economist Julia Pollak wrote on Twitter: “As employers require workers to return to offices, quits are ticking upwards. A major reason for quitting is to find a remote opportunity.”

With vacancies up to 7.1 percent or 1.9 job opening for every unemployed worker, the job market is said to be in a very unhealthy position.

The tightness of the labour market is a major contributor to the high inflation rate in the US, with the expectation that the Federal Reserve will announce monetary policy changes on Wednesday. Most economists believe that changes will be necessary to cool the economy down enough to get inflation under control, but without slowing growth.

But with businesses struggling to find and retain staff, wages are rising at a faster rate than the market can absorb.

Labour shortages are said to be adding to the woes of the manufacturing sector, which continues to be affected by supply chain issues, including the lockdowns in China and the shortage of key components.

Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said: “Workers continue to quit and get hired at fast rates in today’s economy. This ‘churn’ is a positive sign of a strengthening labour market where workers can quit, search, and obtain new opportunities.”

Gould continued, saying that hiring continues to outpace the number leaving their jobs, with the job market headed back to pre-pandemic levels at a rapid rate.

That view was confirmed by a poll of economists undertaken polled by Refinitiv, with the prediction that a further 400,000 jobs will have been added in April. That will leave the US just one million jobs short of the country’s pre-pandemic level, despite a record 4.5 million Americans quitting their jobs in March.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]