Nobody is talking to me about ‘quiet quitting’: U.S. Labor Secretary

Quiet quitting may be the hot talk on social media and internal employee chat rooms, but U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh says it’s not a big topic of discussion in his chats with business leaders.

“I haven’t really heard about it from companies. I know that it’s being reported in the press. I’ve talked to a lot of companies in the country. And I haven’t heard about that,” Walsh said on Yahoo Finance Live.

Quiet quitting, a term that popped up on TikTok and gained steam in 2022, has no single meaning. For some, it means an employee doesn’t flat-out quit their job but may do just enough to keep it. Others believe it reflects setting boundaries between home and office life, such as not reading emails late into the evening.

Various studies have found quiet quitting to be a rising pain point for companies.

A recent Gallup poll found that just 21% of employees are engaged at work, suggesting that up to 79% could be practicing quiet quitting in some form or another. Another study by The Conference Board found that disengaged workers could cost U.S. companies around $500 billion each year. found that one in 10 workers is putting in less effort than six months ago — half say this reduced effort hasn’t gone unnoticed. Meantime, the survey unearthed that one in three who have reduced their efforts have cut back hours spent working by more than 50%.

Nobody is talking to me about ‘quiet quitting’: U.S. Labor Secretary

The most common reason for quiet quitting says burned out post-COVID workers.

Walsh acknowledges he is still monitoring the situation even though it’s not top of mind among those contacts he talks to.

“Certainly, that’s a concern if it continues on because when people hire people, they expect them to do a day’s work for a day’s pay. And I think that’s something that we have to continue to encourage. And but when I talk— as I’ve gone around the country this last month— and I’ve done a lot of trips— no company has approached me on this quiet quitting idea,” Walsh added.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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