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Data: BLS, FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Demand for labor seems to be getting stronger, and workers are taking advantage by quitting.

Why it matters: Businesses are scrambling to fill job openings as they try to catch up with booming demand.

  • Many companies are aggressively raising wages to recruit, which has resulted in workers quitting their old jobs for better opportunities.

By the numbers: 3.87 million workers quit their jobs in June, according to the BLS’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. This is close to the record, set in April, of 3.99 million.

  • This represents 2.7% of the workforce in June, which is also just below April’s record rate of 2.8%.
  • Quits as a percentage of total separations — which includes layoffs, firings and retirements — reached 69.3% in June. This measure, also known as the “take this job and shove it” indicator is at an all-time high.

What they’re saying: "People tend to leave their jobs when they find a better opportunity, and we think part of the high quits rate reflects the massive suburbanization trend that started during the pandemic," DataTrek Research co-founder Jessica Rabe tells Axios.

Zoom out: Many of these folks are accounted for in the 6.72 million hirings that occurred during the month.

  • But the fact that job openings still set a new record of 10.07 million during the period speaks to how strong the demand for labor continues to be.
  • For context, there were 9.48 million unemployed workers during the period.

In other words, there were more job openings than unemployed workers, a dynamic that hasn't occurred since before the pandemic.

The bottom line: "Labor demand keeps getting stronger," Indeed Hiring Lab economic research director Nick Bunker writes.

  • "Job seekers, both jobless and employed, are taking advantage of this situation with job switching near historic levels and nominal wages growing quickly. The question now is by how much and how quickly will this situation fade."

Go deeper

Corporations turn focus to retaining frontline workers

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Companies are narrowing the blue- and white-collar experience as they're forced to adapt to a worker-led market.

Driving the news: Basic office tools and concepts like corporate communications and schedule flexibility are migrating to frontline operations through investments in technology.

D.C.'s building boom grinds to a halt

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The decades-long building boom that remade Washington D.C. is screeching to a halt, undone by broader construction trends and the legacy of the post-pandemic workplace.

Why it matters: Dizzying construction has reshaped the city, reinvigorated downtown and created bustling new communities. 

Special Envoy for Haiti resigns over deportation of migrants and asylum-seekers

Daniel Foote testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on May 26, 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Special Envoy for Haiti on Wednesday resigned from his position, writing in his resignation letter obtained by PBS that he "will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees."

Why it matters: Ambassador Daniel Foote's resignation comes amid heightened anger over the treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers living in a temporary encampment in Del Rio, Texas — especially after images surfaced of Border Patrol agents whipping at the migrants from horseback.