America is not exactly known for its work-life balance, but it seems our fast-paced nation might be slowing down. New data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that productivity in the US workforce is down 4.1% on an annualized basis, which is the biggest decline since 1948.
What’s more is that US productivity had steadily been increasing year after year, since 1948, until this year. A variety of factors are driving the slowdown including burnout, work dissatisfaction, and large swings in the job market.
Mass layoffs during the pandemic and then staffing shortages following shortly after created a whiplash in the labor market. When hiring and firing happened outside of performance or work ethic reasons, “workers came away from all of this feeling like the connection between working hard and being rewarded was broken,” explains ZipRecruiter’s chief economist, Julia Pollak.
Pollak also noted that the consequences of productivity dropping could lead to the US economy shrinking, quality of life going down, and opportunities and innovation also drying up.
With so many employees feeling a looming sense of ennui and that working hard is pointless, it’s no wonder that ‘quiet quitting’ (AKA doing your job) has been all the buzz lately.