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Understanding The Rise Of Resignations And New Relationship With Work

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

We are in the midst of a radical shift in our labor force. Over the past 18 months, we’ve heard a lot about how many companies have had to change how they do business. Workers pivoted to doing remote work and essential workers faced challenges like never before. Now we’re starting to see the results of all of the upheaval.

A new Gallup poll finds that 48 percent of America's working population is actively job searching or at least watching for new opportunities. A lot of people are quitting. 3.6 million Americans resigned from their jobs in May 2021.

In this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with two Iowans who quit their jobs because of the pandemic. She also talks with Michele Williams of the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business and Paul Iverson of the University of Iowa's Labor Center to help make sense of what’s going on.


  • Michele Williams, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship and the John L. Miclot Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business
  • Paul Iverson, labor educator and coordinator of quality pre-apprenticeship program at the University of Iowa Labor Center
  • Erin Kuester, former university lecturer, now instructional designer and resident of Cedar County
  • Josh Elwood, former associate teacher in the Waukee School District
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River