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Great Resignation Slowed down in October

Great Resignation lost some steam in October, with the total number of workers leaving their jobs either due to dissatisfaction or better opportunities elsewhere declining, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Job quitters fell by 4.7%, falling to 4.16 million from 4.36 million, the department said in its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

The rate as a share of the workforce fell from 3% to 2.8%. The JOLTS report is closely watched at the Federal Reserve and elsewhere for signs of labor market tightness. While the quits rate dropped, the level of job openings accelerated to just below its all-time high. That number totaled 11.03 million, an increase of 4.1% as the rate rose to 6.9% from 6.7%.

The number of openings exceeded those looking for jobs by 3.6 million in October. JOLTS data runs a month behind the more closely followed nonfarm payrolls report, which showed a gain of 546,000 for the month. The coronavirus pandemic has seen quits surge to what had been record highs. Even with October decline, the level is still 24% above where it was a year ago.

Economists generally see the exodus as a more significant opportunity in the pandemic-era jobs market spurred by many workers still reluctant to come off the sidelines either because of child-care issues or health concerns. The labor force was about 2.4 million, smaller than in February 2020. The total employment level was more than 3.5 million down.

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