Quitting goes down — but is 'quiet quitting' going up?

Private sector quit rates have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to management consulting firm Korn Ferry. But as fewer employees leave voluntarily, other workers might be more likely to disengage and lean into "quiet quitting." 

In March, 3.9 million people — or 2.7 percent of the private sector — quit their jobs, according to government data. That is the lowest since January 2020, which reported a 2.6 percent quit rate. 

As the economy slows, "People are now thinking twice about jumping," according to Flo Falayi, a Korn Ferry associate client partner and leadership coach. 

However, recent research from EY-Parthenon found that employee engagement has dropped to its lowest level in 75 years' worth of data, signaling that although employees are staying at their desks, they might not be giving it their all. 

It may be difficult to gauge who is unproductive; many organizations suspended performance reviews during the pandemic's peak so managers could focus their attention elsewhere. Now, many are missing two years' worth of employee productivity data, according to Korn Ferry.

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