How Quiet Quitting Has Impacted the Labor Market

Posted by Matin Varshochi in CareerAugust 22, 2022(Last Updated December 9, 2022)3 min read
Key Takeaways
  • The pandemic increased the number of people working from home and blurred the line between work and home. 
  • This blurred line increases stress levels, and some workers began “quiet quitting.” 
  • The quiet quitting mentality consists of doing the bare minimum to get by, which has harmed the labor market.
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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home became an option many companies implemented for part-time and full-time employees. However, remote work began blurring the line between work and home, leading to many working longer hours. In addition, working long hours began to affect employees’ mental health, which began the workplace trend of “quiet quitting.”

What is Quiet Quitting?


Quiet quitting is a term that was coined on the social media platform TikTok, and it refers to when an employee would do the bare minimum to get by. Previously, workers became a part of the hustle culture, where they would go above and beyond their job descriptions to satisfy their employers.


Now, the mentality has shifted, and those who do the bare minimum are called “quiet quitters.”


man playing on phone


One person who came forth on TikTok and mentioned he had become a quiet quitter was Clayton Farris. He made a TikTok video regarding his situation, in which he said, “The most interesting part about it is nothing’s changed, I still work just as hard and get just as much accomplished. I just don’t stress and internally rip myself to shreds.”


Paige West, another employee who stated she had also become a quiet quitter, mentioned how she stopped doing more than the bare minimum. She mentioned that she stopped trying to interact with her colleagues or take extra classes to receive additional training. 

The shift in mentality observed in the two examples shows how employees have begun reducing their effort, which can impact a company’s operations. 


Impacts of Quiet Quitting


Although the workers mentioned above and many others have begun reducing their stress levels by putting in less effort, this could have major consequences. Jim Harter, Chief Scientist at Gallup, a management consulting company, says that 54% of employees born after 1989 are beginning to have this type of mentality. 


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Harter goes on to say that employee engagement plays a key role in a worker’s mentality, and as their engagement has lowered, so has their ambition to do well for their employers. Consequently, the quiet quitting mentality, mixed with the lack of employee engagement, can lead to some workers wanting to switch jobs, which is what happened during the Great Resignation.

Background on the Great Resignation


In 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, the federal government had many relief packages in place to help people pay for their living expenses. In addition, during this time, many workers began searching for new career opportunities, which gave them a better work-life balance. As a result, since many people had a similar idea, the Great Resignation movement began. 


person quitting

Image Credit: Lee Charlie /


Impacts of the Great Resignation


The Great Resignation had positive effects on employees but not on companies. Those who left during the Great Resignation received an average of 13.1% and 9.2% for Gen Z and Millennials, respectively. Employees who left their previous jobs saw a boost in their annual income. As the companies paid more for better talent, their expenses increased.

Although the Great Resignation initially helped workers who switched jobs receive better pay, it also induced some drawbacks. First, as mentioned earlier, Great Resignation participants' wages increased substantially, increasing operational costs for many companies. 


However, with the US economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declining for two consecutive quarters, concerns for a recession have begun rising. As a result, some companies have begun instituting hiring freezes to get ahead of the curve. These hiring freezes were implemented to ensure their expenses are not increased by taking on additional employees. 


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If push comes to shove, there may come a time when companies will begin to lay off employees to save money; and one of the main basis they may use is seniority. Consequently, those workers who left their old positions will likely be the first ones to go as they were the latest additions to the company payroll. 


The Money Wrap-Up


With the current economy potentially heading towards a recession, finding a job, if laid off, becomes difficult. As a result, having a quiet quitting mentality has impacted the labor market as those who choose to do the bare minimum at their current job will have a hard time finding another job. 


References are a key part of job hunting, and when previous employers cannot speak positively about a previous employee, their chances of finding a new job slim down. Therefore, do not develop a quiet quitter mentality, as it will hinder your career and makes career advancements more difficult.


Main Image Credit: fizkes /

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