RENTON, Wash. — A record number of people are quitting their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and employers are scrambling to fill openings as the economy rebounds from the pandemic.
“Right now, everybody is looking for people,” said Karen Dove, executive director of ANEW, a non-profit that helps people get apprenticeships in the Puget Sound construction industry.
“You don’t have to go to college to earn six figures,. You can go into an apprenticeship, not get into student debt, and earn a great living with benefits, including pensions,” she said.
Economists say the record number of people leaving their jobs is a sign that there are more opportunities after a bleak year and a half for many industries ravaged by the pandemic.
Dove said in many cases people are quitting jobs in retail and food service and picking up a tape measure or hammer instead.
In March they graduated an all-female class.
“Within six weeks they were all working, all in apprenticeship, registered in apprenticeship, and out working on construction sites,” Dove said.
The unemployment rate is still higher than it was pre-pandemic, but economists say the millions who are walking away from jobs is a show of confidence that the economy is rebuilding.