(Bloomberg) — The number of U.S. workers who voluntarily left their jobs in July increased to a five-month high, indicating more Americans are becoming sanguine about their prospects of finding a new position as the economy recovers.
So-called quits climbed by 344,000 to nearly 3 million during the month, Labor Department figures showed Wednesday. The number of job leavers as a share of total employed rose to 2.1%, creeping closer to the 2.3% that was prevalent before the coronavirus shut down the economy.
The government’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey also showed a larger-than-forecast 6.6 million vacant positions at employers, about 400,000 shy of pre-pandemic levels. Layoffs also declined in July from a month earlier.
Taken together, it “all adds to the fact that the quits rate is probably realistic,” said Steven Ricchiuto, U.S. chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA LLC. “Can I say the number is definitely the