Workers left their jobs in record numbers in August, with bar and restaurant employees as well as retail staff leading the exodus, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.
The number hit a new high going back to December 2000, as 4.3 million workers left their jobs. The quit rate rose to 2.9%, an increase of 242,000 from July, which saw a rate of 2.7%, according to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
Such departures have been seen historically as evidence that workers feel they can employment elsewhere, though labor dynamics have changed during the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis.
A total of 892,000 workers in the food service and accommodation industries left their jobs, while 721,000 retail workers departed along with 534,000 in health care and social assistance, according to the Labor Department.