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Show Them the Money: Pay Is Most Important for Potential Job Seekers


Just One-Third of White/Caucasian Adults Plan to Job Hunt, but Two-Thirds of Hispanics/Latinos and Half of Blacks/African Americans Are Ready to Make a Move in the Next Year

With four in 10 U.S. adults (41%) likely to look for a new job within the next year, more than six in 10 (63%) say pay rate/salary would be among the most important factors if they were looking for a change, according to results from the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey conducted by The Harris Poll in late October and early November 2021.

A job search, or even a change to a new career, is on the horizon for many U.S. adults. Forty-one percent of those surveyed are likely to job hunt within the next year, and 35% are likely to change careers. Showing a stark difference by race/ethnicity, the survey revealed that 64% of Hispanics/Latinos and 49% of Blacks/African-Americans are likely to look for a new job within the next year, but only 34% of Whites/Caucasians have similar plans. Likewise, about half of Hispanics/Latinos (50%) and Blacks/African-Americans (46%) plan on a career change while only 29% of Whites/Caucasians plan to do so in the next year.

When asked what key factors were most important to them if they were looking for a new job within the next year, 63% of U.S. adults said that pay rates or salary would be among their most important decision-making factors, while 37% cited flexible work hours and 36% said benefits/perks. The ability to work remotely is important for one-quarter (25%) of U.S. adults.

“In the midst of the Great Resignation, employed individuals as well as active job seekers are looking at new opportunities for higher pay and more flexibility,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “If employers want to effectively compete in the war for talent, they’re going to have ensure their workers receive competitive compensation and that workplaces embrace flexible work schedules wherever feasible.”

The study also included new data surrounding Covid-19 vaccinations and mandates: 61% of U.S. adults say they would rather work for a company that requires employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 than a company without such a requirement.

In particular, more than two-thirds (68%) of Baby Boomers say they would prefer to work for an employer with vaccine requirements, compared with 59% of Millennials, 56% of Generation X, and 55% of those in Generation Z. Meanwhile, 24% of Blacks/African Americans and 19% of Hispanics/Latinos would be likely to seek out jobs without a Covid-19 mandate if they were looking for a job within the next year compared with only 11% of White/Caucasian.

To learn more about the ASA Workforce Monitor, visit You can also follow ASA research on Twitter.


This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of ASA between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1, 2021, among a total of 2,042 U.S. adults age 18 and older. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, household income, education, marital status, and size of household where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.


About the American Staffing Association (ASA)

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit

About the ASA Workforce Monitor

The ASA Workforce Monitor is a periodic survey commissioned by ASA and conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,000 or more U.S. adults age 18 and older. The survey series focuses on current workforce trends and issues. For more information about the survey series, visit

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the U.S., tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963. It is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. They work with clients in three primary areas: building 21st century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Their mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. Learn more by visiting and follow Harris Poll on Twitter and LinkedIn.

ASA Workforce MonitorNearly half of employed U.S. job seekers (49%) believe AI tools used in job recruiting are more biased than their human counterparts. View the results & download the infographics »
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