As more businesses reopen, many of them are finding their pre-pandemic employees are moving on. In fact, a recent report from Forbes found 34 percent of Millennials, 25 percent of Gen Xers, and 10 percent of Baby Boomers plan to leave their jobs. Additionally, a U.S. Labor Department’s June report shows nearly 4 million people quit their jobs each month in March, April, and May– that’s a doubled increase since 2020 to about 2.5 percent of the workforce. That’s the highest resignation rate in the U.S. in two decades, with hospitality, retail trade and food services industries seeing the biggest impact. Christopher Porter, professor at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, says while many local businesses owners and corporate executives say they don’t have enough staff, these increased resignations aren’t going to cripple the economy. People will eventually fill these empty positions, but employers will need to get creative and offer more of what prospective employees want for that to happen. Porter says that the pandemic changed the way that people think about work, the role they want it to play in their lives, and how they think about how they spend their time and their skills. He believes this is a trend that will continue. Also, many people no longer want their jobs to define them. More than a year of working from home has made people want more flexibility, higher pay, and better work-life balance, he says. To get the best people, Porter says companies will need to make remote work an option.
In other news, new biomarkers found in the eyes could unlock a key to helping manage diabetic retinopathy, which is damage to the retina caused by blood vessel and metabolic changes, and perhaps even diabetes, according to new research conducted at the IU School of Optometry. During its early stages, diabetes can affect the eyes before the changes are detectable through a regular clinical examination. However, new retinal research has found that these changes can be measured earlier than previously thought with specialized optical techniques and computer analysis. Researcher Ann Elsner says early detection of retinal damage from diabetes is possible to obtain with painless methods and might help identify undiagnosed patients early enough to diminish the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy, which is caused by changes in the blood vessels in the retina, is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in U.S. adults. In fact, by 2050, the number of Americans with diabetic retinopathy is expected to grow to 14.6 million. The IU study is part of the current widespread emphasis on detection of diabetic retinopathy by applying artificial intelligence to retinal images. Elsner says many algorithms use any image information that differs between diabetic patients and control groups, which can identify which individuals might have diabetes but these can be non-specific. IU’s method can be combined with the other AI methods to provide early information localized to specific retinal layers or types of tissues, which allows inclusion of information not analyzed in the other algorithms.