Still Quitting? Waiters and Fast-food Workers are Seeking Greener Pastures

Fast-food workers, chefs and waiters are quitting their jobs at a faster rate than are any other workers, according to a study released last week.

The study, from document-management tool SmallPDF, analyzed numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to score every industry’s quit rates, the percentage of total workers quitting an industry every month, and quit levels, a measurement of how many employees quit in total each month.

According to SmallPDF, the accommodation and food services industry saw an average of 5.8% of its workforce quit between April and August of 2022, the period in which the study was done. That industry includes chefs, waiters and fast-food workers.

More than 773,600 of these employees left every month on average during SmallPDF’s study. In August of 2022, 128,000 more workers in the accommodation and food services industry left their jobs than did during the same month a year earlier. It’s little surprise, then, that fast-food and other restaurants are struggling to hire enough workers.

In second place in the survey was the retail trade industry, which includes jobs such as customer-service representatives, cashiers and stock clerks. An average of 600,400 employees quit these jobs every month from April to August of 2022. In good news for this sector, though, about 109,000 fewer employees quit these jobs this August compared to the same month in 2021.

The arts, entertainment and recreation industry ranked third on the list, a sector that includes fitness trainers, recreation attendants and musicians. About 7,000 more employees quit these industries in August of 2022 compared to August of 2021.

Fourth place goes to the professional and business services industry, including lawyers, accountants and architects. About 754,000 employees quit every month between April and August. The quit rate was, on average, 3.36% during these months. In a sign that workers are holding onto their jobs a bit more in these fields, August 2022’s quit number came in at 63,000 fewer employees than the quit level of August 2021.

Rounding out the top five is the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry, which includes pilots, bus drivers and truck drivers. An average of 199,400 quits took place in these industries every month from April and August of this year. August 2022’s quit level in these industries came in at 32,000 employees higher than August 2021’s level.