4.5 Million Americans Left Their Jobs in November. Should You Leave Yours?

A man walking out of an office with box of his things after being let go.

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Quit rates are up and job openings are abundant. Is it time to bid your current job adieu?

Key points

  • A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November alone.
  • With 10.6 million jobs open as of November, now's a good time to pursue a new employment opportunity.

The Great Resignation is clearly upon us, and new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms it. In November, a record-setting 4.5 million Americans ditched their jobs voluntarily. Much of that activity, not shockingly, stemmed from the hard-hit hospitality industry. Given the state of the COVID-19 outbreak and the industry's notoriously stingy pay, it's easy to see why so many workers may have decided to leave.

But while low pay and tough working conditions may have prompted some people to quit their jobs this past November, the reality is that many workers may have resigned to explore better opportunities. As of November, there were 10.6 million jobs to fill across the economy, and while that's a modest drop from October, it's a substantial number nonetheless.

If you're on the fence about leaving your job, now could be a great time to take that leap. Here's why.

1. You deserve better pay

In 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate reached a record high, and it was an unquestionably bad time to quit a job. Things have changed a lot since then, though. Nowadays, workers have the upper hand when it comes to job-related negotiations. If you've done your research and found that you're underpaid given your industry and experience level, then it's definitely worth pursuing a job that will compensate you accordingly.

2. You need better pay

These days, the general cost of living has soared thanks to rampant inflation. With everything from gas to clothing to groceries costing more money, you can't afford to resign yourself to a paycheck that isn't up to par. If you don't leave your low-paying job, you might really struggle to keep up with your expenses. But if you move on to a new opportunity, you might score a higher salary -- one that helps you maintain your buying power during these tricky times.

3. Many companies can offer better pay in January

January is actually a great time to look for a new job. The reason? Many companies' hiring budgets renew at the start of the year. And so right now, companies may have more leeway to pay you a higher salary than they would at a different point of the hiring cycle. Plus, with the holiday season being over, employers can now focus on filling openings -- and setting themselves up for a successful year.

Don't settle for a bad job

When jobs are less abundant, sometimes, the best thing to do is stick out a less-than-ideal work situation. But that's not the environment we're in today. Not only are jobs plentiful, but many companies are dealing with staffing challenges, and so they're throwing extra money at workers in an effort to secure labor.

If you've been toying with the idea of quitting your job, now's a great time to explore different opportunities. A new job could be your ticket to a higher paycheck -- and a chance to pad your savings, pay off some debt, or meet whatever pressing financial goals you have.

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