685,000 People Quit a Retail Job in September, New Labor Department Data Shows
Americans quit their jobs at record rates in September, and the retail industry was no exception. The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed 685,000 people quit a retail job in September, at a rate of 4.4 percent. While this number is down from the 730,000 people who quit a retail job in August, it still points to the ongoing labor shortage crisis happening in the industry.
About 4.4 million people, or 3 percent of U.S. workers, quit their job in September, the Labor Department statistics show. The survey shows more than a million job openings in the retail sector for September, although that number is reduced from August.
Total Retail's Take: More and more Americans have quit their jobs since March 2020 — the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in this country — for a number of reasons, including the desire for more work-life balance, an inability to find childcare, or the attraction of higher wages elsewhere. The September data from the Labor Department doesn't shine a lot of hope for the holiday season, and retailers are desperate for more workers.
Those retailers that are investing in their employees — through bonuses, increased wages, innovative technology and support, training, flexible scheduling — stand a better chance at keeping their quit rates low while also attracting new workers to help fill open positions.