According to the Labor Department report, a whopping 4.3 million people left two months ago, the most on record dating back to December 2000 — and 300,000 more than in July.
The August quits are the equivalent of 3 percent of the U.S. workforce. Employing in August also fell sharply — dropping to 6.3 million from 6.8 million in July — despite the number of available jobs remaining near record-high levels.
Open jobs have increased 62 percent in the past year, though available jobs did fall to 10.4 million in August, from a record high of 11.1 million in July.
Quits in August at restaurants, bars and hotels jumped 21 percent compared to the previous month for a total of 900,000. And August saw a 6 percent jump in retail workers leaving their jobs.
In industries such as manufacturing, construction, and transportation and warehousing, quits barely increased.
In professional and business services, which includes law, engineering, and architecture, where most employees can work from home, leaving was essentially flat.
Workers who are dismissed for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 need not apply — for unemployment benefits.
Not being eligible for government help if you lose your job for being unvaccinated is yet another indicator that the cost of relinquishing the vaccine is growing in the U.S.
Vaccine mandates are swiftly becoming the norm at companies large and small across the U.S., as employers take steps to ensure their workplaces are safe and their workers are protected against COVID-19.
Workers are usually fit for unemployment benefits if they are fired through no mistake of their own. But experts say they forfeit these benefits if they leave a position on their own volition or are terminated for cause, such as because they failed to comply with company policy.
"Generally if you do something bad, commit misconduct, violate company policy, then you are disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits," said Jason Habinsky, chair of New York-based law firm Haynes Boone's labor and employment practice. "If you leave on your own or are terminated for a reason, you're not eligible."
"In the case of not complying with a vaccine mandate, that is like failing to comply with any other employer-related policy. Generally, that is a reason an agency would deny unemployment insurance benefits," Habinsky added.