Jill On Money: Interviews of the Year 2022 — The Wonks

Last week, I highlighted the best interviews that I conducted with creators in 2022 (Dan Pink, Annie Duke, Spencer Jakab and Abigail Disney).

This week I am highlighting the wonks, who broke through the chatter and helped explain economic and market trends occurring in real time.

As the economy reopened after the worst of the pandemic, something very weird happened to the U.S. labor market. All of a sudden, workers of all types were reconsidering their options. As analysts breathlessly recited the stats (the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or “JOLTs,” was ready for a closeup), the term “Great Resignation” took hold.

Early in 2022, I spoke with LinkedIn principal economist Guy Berger, who posited that millions of Americans were not quitting forever. Rather, they were finding new roles in different industries. He dubbed the trend “The Great Reshuffle.”

As soon as Berger laid out his case, I started hearing from people about the changes that he had described. Americans of all ages and all earning levels were rethinking their relationships with work. Some sought more consistent or fewer hours, others opted for lower levels of stress, and quite a few used the pandemic as the springboard to start their own ventures. In addition to transitions among prime work age (25 to 54), Berger also correctly predicted that the pre-COVID trend of baby boomer retirement would accelerate.

Long before (OK, months in this case) politicians made environmental, social and governance (ESG