New Study Says U.S. Workers Have Become Less Productive
No one is sure why this is the case
Employers across the country are worried that workers are getting less done — and there is evidence they're right to be spooked.
In the first half of 2022, productivity — the measure of how much output in goods and services an employee can produce in an hour — plunged by the sharpest rate on record going back to 1947, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The productivity plunge is perplexing, because productivity took off to levels not seen in decades when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced an overnight switch to remote work, leading some economists to suggest that the pandemic might spark longer-term growth. It also raises new questions about the shift to hybrid schedules and remote work, as employees have made the case that flexibility helped them work more efficiently. And it comes at a time when “quiet quitting” — doing only what is expected and no more — is resonating, especially with younger workers.
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