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Study: ‘Great Resignation’ playing out in Indiana

A view of a pedestrian entrance to Purdue University. (WISH File Photo from Video)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A new study from Purdue University shows Indiana is among the many states feeling the effects of the so-called “Great Resignation.” The study looked at numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and found the number of people voluntarily quitting their jobs rose 17% from October 2020 to October 2021. Bo Beaulieu, professor emeritus at the Purdue Center for Regional Development and author of the study, says Indiana has seen the number of job openings rise over the last six months, but new hires have not been able to keep pace.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Beaulieu said another major takeaway of the study is why people are leaving.

“There’s a number of people who are quitting their jobs in Indiana, and it’s not because they want to retire [though] that may be one of the factors,” said Beaulieu. “As many jobs as we have open now in Indiana and across the nation, a lot of people who are working say, ‘This is my time to maybe try to get a better job, better paying jobs, better benefits.’”

Beaulieu says some workers may be fearful of COVID and therefore are looking for jobs with more flexibility when it comes to remote work. He says other factors, such as childcare and elder care, have also come into play.

The study shows Indiana’s quit rate has been higher than the national average for the majority of the year from October 2020 to October 2021. In October, Indiana’s quit rate was 3.3%, which was also higher than its neighboring states in the Midwest.

“Where quits are really high is in those sectors that would not be surprising: accommodations, the food industry – I’m talking about bars and restaurants – retail trade,” said Beaulieu. “Those are the areas that have been really severely it and an increasing number from the healthcare sector. People are simply getting burnt out and people in the healthcare sector are actually quitting their jobs and trying to find some other alternative.”

Beaulieu says there aren’t many scientific studies that show how states and businesses can retain talent. The study aggregates recommendations from think tank studies and media reports.

Some of the recommendations include creating better paying jobs and improving worker benefits, supporting remote work options, investing in upskilling and career advancement opportunities, and supporting new businesses as more individuals looking to go the entrepreneurial route.

You can connect to the full study by clicking here.