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Workforce: The Great Reshuffle

December 16, 2021 | Economic Development & Workforce

In a noisy digital world, it’s easy to get caught up in headlines and begin noticing common themes when scrolling through our feeds. Themes that seem to be trending include “The Great Resignation”, “Millions of Americans Quit Jobs”, and “How to Hire During a Workforce Shortage”. Lately, these are hot topics that many can relate to given today’s climate.

These headlines aren’t wrong. In September of 2021 a little more than 4,000 people left their jobs in Iowa. However, the people who are quitting aren’t completely gone from the workforce. Looking at it another way, we can examine why people are quitting and how our member businesses might be able to capitalize on this trend.

The three most common themes are:

1. I value my time more and want a good work-life balance.

2. I should make more money for the work I am doing.

3. I want to pursue my passion.

COVID-19 has reminded us how valuable our time and energy are. Many have left the workforce simply because they don’t feel valued in their current work culture. People are reshuffling, growing, and giving themselves more time to do what they enjoy most. And in some ways, this is actually benefitting those in the workforce.

Wages and benefits have naturally risen – for example, 96% of full-time employees now has medical and dental benefits.

Workers are open to new options with 34% of the working population saying they are likely to change careers. This means that some of those who quit their jobs, may be the right fit for your business.

Overall there are more people available as the estimated population between 18 and 64 in the Cedar Rapids commuting region has grown in Iowa by 20,000 people. What could you be doing to attract them to your company?

If you value your business, you value your employees, too. Join in on “The Great Reshuffle”. Let’s see what we can do as a business community in 2022 to make our region a destination for workers.

Ellie Evans is the Workforce Specialist for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, where she focuses on the attraction and retention of workforce in the region. Reach out to Ellie to further discuss at