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Earnings For Workers Rise As Labor Shortages Continue

Another 4.2 million quit their jobs in October, the Labor Department reports.

With another 4.2 million people across the country quitting their jobs in October, 11 million job openings remained unfilled by the end of the month.

In a Job Openings and Labor Turnover report published on Wednesday, the Labor Department found that the number of empty job vacancies rose further from 10.6 million in September. 

A record was hit in July with 11.1 million vacancies.

The number of job openings compared to hires, which the department reported to be at 6.5 million in the same month, is at a record low as many employers struggle to find workers to fill empty spots. 

While Covid tests and mandatory vaccinations have pushed some to quit, a general exodus of workers who quit in search of better opportunities has been observed all over the country. 

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There are currently 67 unemployed workers for every 100 job openings; in February 2020, that number was at 87. 

The one segment where job openings decreased was state and local government excluding education — the number of vacant spots fell by 115,000 in October.

As a result, many employees are trying to lure workers back with better offers.

Median earnings for full-time workers rose 6.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Separations, which are defined as quits, layoffs and discharges, dropped by 255,000 to 5.9 million from September.

"Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle," reads the report. "Net employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations. When the number of hires exceeds the number of separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining."