A whopping 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in February 2022, signaling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the US labor force and economy is still being felt.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 11.3 million job openings last month –– marking very little change between December 2021's 11.4 million available jobs. The Job Openings and Labor Survey found that for every American looking for a job there was 1.8 positions available.
So where are all the jobs? The survey found that there were more open positions with the federal government, education, arts, entertainment, and recreation.
On top of the open positions, February 2022 saw a near record-high number of people leaving their jobs. The number of Americans quitting peaked in November 2021 at 4.5 million, with last month's number just shy of that.
Workers in retail and manufacturing, were among those who quit their jobs at higher rates. Local and state level education roles also saw workers leave, while fewer people in finance and insurance left their posts.
Companies hired 6.7 million people in February, the report showed. The March jobs report is scheduled to be released on Friday (April 1), leaving some wondering where the labor market stands currently.
"Should Friday's payroll report disappoint, it is down to a lack of supply of workers to fill the jobs available rather than any issue with demand," ING's Chief International Economist James Knightley told CNN Business.
"In a service sector economy, the biggest cost is your workforce. Given clear evidence of corporate pricing power, this means inflation will stay higher for longer as firms pass higher costs onto their consumers," Knightley added.