Indiana Chamber of Commerce Sign
(photo courtesy of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce)

Results of a new survey released by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce show nearly a quarter of Hoosiers who feel secure in their current jobs still expect to search for a new job in 2022. The chamber says the data underlines the reality of the “Great Resignation” across the country.  The phenomenon, also known as the Big Quit, describes record numbers of people voluntarily leaving their jobs.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Indiana Chamber Vice President of Education and Workforce Development Jason Bearce explained some people are leaving jobs even if they do not have a new one lined-up.

“There are a lot of people that are testing the waters and thinking about what other jobs might be out there, whether they’re in the industry they’re already currently employed in or potentially another industry,” said Bearce. “But certainly, it’s a very tight, very competitive labor market. And individuals are increasingly thinking that they might explore their options.”

The report shows 43% of the unemployed respondents said they had quit as opposed to 38% who were terminated or laid off. Only 15% of those laid off were due to a business closure.

The 2021 Indiana Chamber employee survey was conducted was completed by approximately 600 Hoosiers statewide who were employed, under-employed or unemployed. Their ages ranged from 18 to 60.

The chamber says the respondents were not business owners or considered upper-level management.

Bearce says the pandemic forced companies to rethink staffing and work environments, such as remote work. He says many employees grew accustomed to a different work atmosphere and flexibility.

Jason Bearce is Vice President of Education and Workforce Development for the Indiana Chamber

“There’s been a lot of reflection in the last year or two. I think people are reprioritizing what is most important to them. In some cases, that’s leading them to pull out of the workforce entirely, at least for a short time,” said Bearce.

The chamber says the survey also illustrates the existing disconnect over the skills and education level needed to have a thriving career in the state. Nearly one third (32%) of Hoosier workers believed that a high school diploma is all they need.

“It’s alarming that so many still believe a high school diploma will provide them the type of prosperity to sustain them throughout life,” said Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “Unfortunately, their perspective just doesn’t match up to the realities of the modern workforce.”

The chamber cites data from March 2021 in which 916,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy. Of those, less than 1% or just 7,000 jobs were for people with only a high school diploma.

“For their best interests and that of their workers, more employers should begin to look at growing the workforce they need. Whether that’s via formal tuition reimbursement or training programs, or simply through encouragement or access to resources,” said Brinegar. “This will be one of the most effective ways to fill the existing talent shortage.”

Click here to view more the survey results.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business reporter Wes Mills, Bearce explained some of the key findings of the survey.

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