Business and Economy

U.S. Worker Productivity Tanked This Year

The Grind:

American workers aren’t getting nearly as much done this year as they used to.

U.S. labor productivity plunged first quarter in the largest decline since 1947, then dropped by the highest annual amount on record in the second according to the Bureau of Labor Statics. The third quarter data indicates year-over-year output saw three consecutive declines for the first time since 1982.

So what is going on? One expert says there are several factors contributing to the drop in productivity, and the problem is likely to persist for some time.

The Details:

Julie Bauke, founder and chief career strategist with The Bauke Group, told FOX Business the decline in output from the current workforce was largely inevitable – COVID just sped it up. In short, she says, “The world of work right now is a mess.” The U.S. workforce is stretched thin in this tight labor market – and people are just plain burnt out.

For starters, Bauke noted, the pandemic caused many older, seasoned workers to retire early, and the spots left behind by those “boomers” are being filled by an insufficient number of less-experienced workers from younger generations.

Not only do Gen X and Gen Z workers lack some of the institutional knowledge as older workers, Bauke says, but they are also less willing to put in the long hours their boomer managers might expect. At the same time, the older workers that remain now tend to be less willing to sacrifice their health or family time to take on loads of extra work. Read more…

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