The number of U.S. retail workers quitting their jobs reached its peak in August, with 721,000 people walking out on their jobs, the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows.
Workers’ quit rate, which BLS defines as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs, stood at 4.7 percent in August. In comparison, the overall rate of workers quitting their jobs in the broader U.S. labor market was 2.9 percent that month.
The increase in the number of workers leaving their jobs comes at a time when retailers are struggling to fill in vacant positions, especially with the holiday season fast approaching. As a result, the retail industry in the country had 1.2 million job openings compared to 734,000 last year.
These numbers paint a dire picture for the upcoming holiday season as retailers struggle to fill positions even though many unemployment benefits have expired and schools have reopened.
“The end of emergency unemployment insurance and kids returning to campus this September was not the silver bullet for the jobs recovery many hoped for,” Wells Fargo’s Sarah House and Michael Pugliese told Retail Dive.
This is prompting many retailers to offer benefits such as joining bonuses, childcare and family support and $15 minimum wage, among other things, in hopes of attracting new workers.