A record 4.5 million American workers quit their jobs in November, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which corresponded to the high number of severance rates in September.
However, the number of vacancies fell to 10.6 million on the last working day of the month, as a sign of concern for the Omicron variant. This is a decrease of 529,000 vacancies, or 6.6 per cent.
The largest declines came in accommodation and food services, which saw a decline of 261,000; construction with a decrease of 110,000 jobs; and non-durable goods and production with a decrease of 66,000 jobs.
The numbers are mixed signs for the economy, and for President Joe Biden. A high severance rate means that people feel safe enough to leave the job and find a new job or a job that pays better. At the same time, the fact that the largest sector that lost its jobs was accommodation and catering shows that people are worried about the Omicron variant and that this may lead to fewer people going out to eat. Fewer construction jobs is a sign that people will not return to work immediately in an industry that requires close contact, while a decline in production jobs is likely to exacerbate supply chain problems.
In addition, all of these sectors mostly employ people without a university degree. At the same time, the industries that saw the most people on their way to the exits were also accommodation and dining with 1[ads1]59,000 left; health care and social assistance with 52,000 ends; and transport, warehousing and tools with 33,000. It would make sense for the service and health industry to see the highest number of departures.
At the same time, the US economy is still facing record high inflation. Last month, price increases reached a 39-year high. Mr Biden will also meet individual farmers and ranchers this week to discuss how to increase competition and thus try to fight inflation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its figures on Friday on the number of jobs added or deducted from the December economy. Mastercard reported that holiday spending jumped by 8.5 percent last month compared to December 2020, which is a sign that people are more confident that the economy will improve.
A new poll by CNBC and Change Research found that 60 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with Mr. Biden’s handling of the economy, a bad sign for Democrats in the House and the Senate majority when they go to a midterm election.
Usually a president’s party loses seats in a midterm election, as it is seen as a referendum on his record. Three of the last four presidents – Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton – saw the House of Representatives change to the opposite party in the first midterm elections.
The election hit may worsen if workers are less confident in starting new jobs with the Omicron variant as a rage, which in turn can lead to less consumption.