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Kentucky goes from worst state for job quitters to best for declining ‘quit rate’

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 12:39 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT/AP) - The rate of Kentuckians quitting their jobs appears to be slowing down after the end of $300-a-week extra unemployment benefits.

New numbers out Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found Kentucky leads the nation with the largest percentage point drop in people quitting their jobs in September and the largest decrease in job openings.

The September numbers come after Kentucky earned the dubious title of having the biggest increase in people quitting their jobs in August and the federal government cutting off a $300-a-week supplement for unemployed Americans.

An estimated 62,000 Kentuckians quit their jobs in September which was a 21,000 person decrease compared to the previous month. The resignations translated into a 3.3-point quit rate in September. Kentucky’s quit rate was 4.4 in August.

In calculating the quit rate, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes employees who left voluntarily with the exception of retirements or transfers to other locations.

In September, job openings rates decreased in 12 states and increased in 8 states. The largest decreases in job openings rates occurred in Kentucky and Wyoming (-1.3 percentage points each), and Nevada. The largest increases in job openings rates occurred in South Dakota, and Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The national job openings rate was little changed.

The bureau estimates there were 142,000 job openings in Kentucky compared to 170,000 in August.

Labor shortages have persisted longer than many economists expected, deepening a mystery at the heart of the job market. Companies are eager to add workers and have posted a near-record number of available jobs. Unemployment remains elevated. The economy still has 5 million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic. Yet job growth slowed in August and September.

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Copyright 2021 WKYT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.