|Credit: The Economic Policy Insitute|
The figure (to the right) tells us what’s happening with churn across the labor market, charting the hires rate against the quits rate for major sectors using the latest JOLTS data from November. The 45-degree line represents where hires and quits rates are equal. Notably, all the data lie above the 45-degree line, meaning that hiring exceeds quits in all sectors. So, while there are record numbers of quits, workers aren’t just leaving the labor force: most are taking other jobs, often in the same sector.The size of the sector bubbles represents average hourly wages of private-sector workers in each sector: the smaller the bubble, the lower the wage. Accommodation and food services—with the lowest wages across sectors—is experiencing the highest churn, i.e. high rates of both quits and hires. Financial services—second in average wages only to the highest wage information sector—experienced the least amount of churn. Workers aren’t switching jobs in those higher paid sectors—which likely also have better benefits and working conditions, including safety and health standards—at nearly the rate they are in accommodation and food services.