Viewpoint: Workers not actually 'quiet quitting'

"Quiet quitting" is nothing more than a new phrase for an old phenomenon, according to workforce reporter Derek Thompson. 

In a Sept. 16 article for The Atlantic, where he is a staff writer, Mr. Thompson argues that employees are desperate for a new term to describe their burnout, and employers are validated by the idea that lags in productivity are outside the realm of their management. 

However, the media's leap to declare work dead is not backed by statistics, Mr. Thompson said, citing a Gallup poll many use to boost the "quiet quitting" trend.

"From 2010 to 2020, [employee] engagement slowly increased," Mr. Thompson said. "In 2022, it declined so slightly that it’s still higher than it was in any year from 2000 to 2014. … What the kids are now calling 'quiet quitting' was, in previous and simpler decades, simply known as 'having a job.'" 

Further, high resignation rates used to prop up quiet quitting are unwarranted because most people quit to take a new job, not leave the workforce altogether, according to Mr. Thompson. 

The idea of quiet quitting may fill a space of uncertainty about the future of labor, but is not an accurate portrayal of the current workforce, he wrote. 

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