On this Labor Day, a look at where we are. The new normal. New phrases to think about. Quiet quitting. Quiet firing.

Quiet quitting. We’ve been talking about it for awhile now. It is, essentially, doing the bare minimum at your job. Nothing above and beyond. Just there and picking up a paycheck.

Quiet firing. I just heard about this one. That’s when employers avoid providing all but the bare legal minimum, possibly with the goal of getting unwanted employees to quit.

According to the Washington Post, quiet firing may include denying raises, failure to supply resources while piling on demands and giving feedback designed to frustrate and confuse. If you don’t like it, you’re welcome to leave.

I have to believe much of this is a result of what we went through the pandemic. Our work situations changed. We worked from home. Maybe not as hard as we might have in our cubicles. Still, the work was done. Maybe with fewer distractions.

We had a story this morning about this very thing. (I am working this Labor Day, by the way.) Many companies are using this Labor Day to get their employees back in the office.

Peloton and Apple are asking their employees to be in the office several days a week. Goldman Sachs is lifting most of its Covid protocols.

Then, there’s Mankato, Minnesota. Apparently, you can’t pay people enough to work.

The Washington Post has a story about the employment situation in that town. It has one of the tightest labor markets in the country. The unemployment rate is lower than 1.8%. The national average 3.7%.

Mankato is a worker’s market right now. Ryan Vesey is an economic development specialist with chamber of commerce. He says the tight labor market has created an entirely new wage floor. Minnesota’s minimum wage is $8.42 an hour.

“Even in fast food. If you’re working full-time at McDonald’s, you can make $15 an hour,” Vesey said. “This is a community where if the minimum wage were to go up, I don’t think it would be noticed.”

“Now hiring.” That’s the sign up in front of the local Arby’s. “Up to $15 an hour.” The KFC starts at $15 an hour and advertises scholarship and GED opportunities.

This Labor Day is an interesting holiday. Can employers actually get their people back into the office? Which will win out quiet quitting or quiet firing?

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