The Wall Street Journal reported on January 5 that workers quit their jobs at a record rate in November while job openings remained close to highest-ever levels. As providers know, the US labor market remains very tight.
These are the facts:
- 5 million quit their jobs in November
- The quit rate was 3% up from 2.8%
- There were 6 million job openings at the end of November, a decrease from 11 million in October
- 5 million people are unemployed
- There are only two workers for every three positions
- None of this data incudes the more recent period effected by Omicron
- Industries bearing the brunt are retail, leisure, hospitality, healthcare and social assistance
- Healthcare workers are also quitting due to stress from COVID
Another part of the problem is millions of workers have dropped out of the labor force. Labor force participation – the percentage of the working age population employed or seeking employment is down to 61.8% from 63.4% prior to COVID. Some workers have retired (taken Social Security early), others face child-care issues, or remain too fearful of COVID due to underlying health issues.
What do workers want?
- Higher pay
- More flexibility and less exposure to COVID
This may explain why providers with in-home services have been less effected than providers with group homes. In-home services are delivered one-on-one often with flexible schedules. Group homes created more exposure to others and schedules are more fixed.
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