City Club of Eugene: The Great Resignation and The Great Awakening : What Workers Want and Need Today
Program date: April 8, 2022
Air date: April 11, 2022
From The City Club of Eugene:
We’ve all seen the signs in front of shops, restaurants, and factories: “We’re hiring!” “Help wanted!” How can so many jobs be open when nearly every employer seems to be offering better pay, benefits, and even signing bonuses?
The government’s jobs report tells us what has happened: Well over 20 million people quit their jobs in the second half of 2021, and more plan to resign this year. About 23% of employees will seek new jobs in 2022, while 9% have already secured a new position, according to a December poll of 1,250 American workers by ResumeBuilder.com. Some are calling it the “big quit,” others the “great resignation.”
The most recent data show people quitting every kind of job: 4.4% of all positions in education are open, more than 6% in retail, 8% in health care, and 9% in hotels and restaurants. That’s almost a million-and-a-half vacant positions.
What impact will this have on business and labor? What is motivating so many workers to quit? Will they be satisfied with whatever new jobs they find? Will the great resignation help to revive the union movement and strengthen communities and families? How important are jobs anyway to overall well-being?
Sarita Gupta is Vice President for US programs for the Ford Foundation and the occupant of the 2021-22 Wayne Morse Chair for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon. As vice president of the Ford Foundation, she oversees all US programs. She has more than 20 years of experience working to expand people’s ability to come together to improve their workplaces, their communities, and their lives by creating solutions to the problems they face. She served as the executive director of Jobs With Justice and codirector of Caring Across Generations and has deep expertise in policy advocacy, organizing, and building partnerships across the workers’ rights and care movements. She is a nationally recognized expert on the economic, labor, and political issues affecting working people, and is widely acknowledged as a key leader and strategist in the progressive movement. Sarita Gupta earned a BA at Mount Holyoke College, with studies in women, health, and society.