Fellow Patriot: The voluntary financial generosity of supporters like you keeps our hard-hitting analysis coming. Please support the 2024 Independence Day Campaign today. Thank you for your support! —Nate Jackson, Managing Editor

October 13, 2021

A Record 4.3 Million People Quit Their Jobs

The reasons are myriad, but it’s all part of an economic picture of malaise.

Where are all the workers? We asked that question upon seeing yet another disappointing jobs report last Friday. The labor market is, after all, still five million workers short of pre-pandemic levels. Well, yesterday the Labor Department reported that a record 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August. Why?

Job openings were revised upward to 11.1 million for July, but dropped to 10.4 million in August. As MarketWatch reports, maybe the openings themselves are the reason for the quitting: “Generally more people quit when the economy is doing well or they think they can find a better job.” With employers paying more and increasing benefit offerings, workers are switching jobs by the millions.

Some of the details indicate just that. CNBC reports, “A total of 892,000 workers in the food service and accommodation industries left their jobs, while 721,000 retail workers departed.”

Still, it seems to be a bit of a conundrum that 4.3 million folks quit while openings decreased, but it could represent a slowdown in economic activity, at least in some sectors, reducing the need for workers. That’s hardly a good thing.

There’s also a great deal of COVID upheaval. CNBC says the quitters include “534,000 in health care and social assistance,” a great number of whom are probably unvaccinated and choosing to quit rather than comply with mandates. Moreover, the quitting corresponded with a rise in COVID cases and schools closing or going “hybrid” or even just individual kids being sent home for quarantine. Someone has to stay home with young kids. Indeed, while 194,000 jobs were created in September, women actually lost 26,000.

Another factor worth mentioning again is the enhanced unemployment benefits that often paid more than a job. That all ended nationwide in September, but only a week before data was collected for the jobs report, meaning it’s too early to tell what effect that had. And there are still plenty of jobless incentives provided by the government.

The market may be more permanently changing, too. “Labor scarcity combined with customer demands will motivate employers to shift even faster to adopt automation and labor-saving technologies,” writes George Mason University’s Michael Farren. “This could lead to the last unemployed workers discovering that the jobs they were holding out for have evaporated. A classic case of the early bird being right after all.”

He adds: “We should also consider that perhaps the economy has entered a completely new paradigm — one in which a subset of workers have discovered that they can get by on very little, and who view lots of leisure time as a sufficient tradeoff. After all, preferences change, and markets change with them.”

Regardless, the critical labor shortage is causing supply shortages, which is driving up prices at the highest rate since 1991. The consumer price index rose once again in September, and the year-over-year inflation measure is now 5.4%. Meat prices are up 12.6% since last year, driving a lot of that $175 in additional monthly expenses we recently reported American families are facing.

Shortages of everything from semiconductors to new cars go along with cargo ships sitting unloaded offshore because there aren’t enough workers to unload them and because there aren’t enough truckers to move products around the nation. The supply malaise led a White House official to warn that Christmas stockings might be a little thin this year: “There will be things that people can’t get.”

This isn’t the America Joe Biden promised he’d deliver. If his successor would be any better, we’d suggest it’s time for him to quit.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.