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Younger workers reexamine work-life balance in 'quiet quitting' trend

Yahoo Finance Live anchors examine the "quiet quitting" workplace trend that has younger workers re-evaluating work-life balances amid concerns of burnout.

Video Transcript


DAVE BRIGGS: The great resignation has given way to a global trend known as quiet quitting, perhaps a COVID consequence whereby primarily younger workers are asking themselves, why go above and beyond? Why let work take over your life? Though this spread, like most things, via TikTok, the trend actually started in China. Counterintuitive, because they're known for generations as extraordinarily hard workers.

And that, in fact, is changing. Their Gen Z unemployment rate in China is nearly double what it is here in the United States, at nearly 20%. So young people there, young people here asking themselves, if I'm not compensated, if I'm not appreciated, why am I going to work after hours? Not the mentality we were raised on. Will it spread? And what's the impact?

BRIAN CHEUNG: Well, I mean, look, there's something to be said that that's maybe a function of the current labor market. Employers in this country have 10.7 million jobs to fill. They need to hold onto all their workers. So if the workers say, I'm just going to do the bare minimum here. I don't need to go beyond that, right?

Because again, quitting is not necessarily what we're talking about here. It's just people kind of complacent--

DAVE BRIGGS: Doing less.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Doing less, right? But in this labor market, you can afford to do that because your employer will probably have less leverage to let you go. And I do wonder whether or not that's going to change if the labor market story changes as well. But at least for right now, it is thematic to the macroeconomic conditions that we face.

DAVE BRIGGS: Not just the tight labor market, but I think, as I mentioned, a bit of a COVID consequence, in that people rebalanced their lives, and they realized how important work-life balance is, in particular, younger people. And what you've seen in survey after survey is a lot of young people are actually more interested in work-life balance than the possible that they can climb the ladder, which is a very strange takeaway from prior generations.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Well, I mean, you might just try to take your paycheck. But you and I still going to be working hard, right?

DAVE BRIGGS: All hours, and you're on your phone. And I was writing a column in bed the other night.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Hey, we'll still be here.

DAVE BRIGGS: It's just fundamental.

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