4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August, nearly 3 percent of the workforce.

The number of people quitting their jobs has surged to record highs, pushed by a combination of factors that include Americans sensing ample opportunity and better pay elsewhere, the Washington Post reports.

Some 4.3 million people quit jobs in August, according to the monthly survey — about 2.9 percent of the workforce, according to new data released Tuesday from the Department of Labor. Those numbers are up from the previous records set in April and nearly matched in July, of about 4 million people quitting.

The phenomenon is being driven in part by workers who are less willing to endure inconvenient hours and poor compensation, quitting at this stage in the pandemic to find better opportunities elsewhere. According to the report, there were 10.4 million job openings in the country at the end of August — down slightly from July’s record high of 10.9 million but still a tremendously high number.

The “quits” numbers include about 892,000 workers in restaurants, bars and hotels, as well as 721,000 workers in retail. An additional 706,000 employees in professional business services and 534,000 workers in health care and social assistance also left jobs.

Nick Bunker, economist at the jobs site Indeed, said the numbers were a reflection of the leverage workers have in the current economic market, with job openings outnumbering unemployed workers.

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