Healthcare labor market shows signs of stability

While the quits rate was lower nationally at the end of November, the quits rate in the healthcare and social assistance sector stayed relatively consistent.

The finding is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released its latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary Jan. 3. 

The quits rate is defined by the bureau as the number of quits during the entire month as a percentage of employment. Nationally, quits edged down from 3.6 million in October to 3.5 million in November. The quits rate went from 2.3% in October to 2.2% in November.

In the healthcare and social assistance sector, quits decreased from 496,000 in October to 492,000 in November. The quits rate was 2.3% both months. It was also 2.3% in September.

The quits rate can provide a measure of employees' willingness or ability to leave jobs, the bureau said. However, it is not the only measure of the labor market. Other measures also indicate a return closer to pre-pandemic levels. 

The number of job openings changed little nationally at 8.8 million on the last business day of November, according to the bureau. At the same time, the number of hires and total separations decreased to 5.5 million and 5.3 million, respectively.

The healthcare and social assistance sector reported 1.71 million openings in November, up from 1.69 million the month prior, according to the bureau's seasonally adjusted numbers. The number of hires edged down from 787,000 to 779,000.

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