Nearly Six in 10 U.S. Workers Say Their Paycheck Is Not Enough to Support Themselves or Their Families

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Employed Baby Boomers much less likely to search for a new job, and also cite age as a potential barrier to finding new work
Nearly six in 10 U.S. workers are concerned their paycheck is not enough to support themselves or their families as employees look to keep up with the rise of inflation, according to the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey.

When asked, 58% of employed U.S. adults expressed concern that their paycheck is not enough to support themselves or their families. This number was even higher for Hispanic workers (69%) and for parents with children under 18 (66%).

As the cost of living increases, workers are looking to change their circumstances. Twenty-eight percent of employed U.S. adults plan to search for a new job in the next six months, while 27% plan to start a second job to supplement their income and 20% plan to ask for a raise from their current employer. Twenty-one percent of employed Americans say they would use a staffing agency if they wanted a new job, including 26% of employed millennials.

Searching for new work in response to inflation skews to younger generations—40% of employed Millennials and 36% of Gen Z plan to look for higher-earning jobs in the next six months. Meanwhile, only 13% of employed Baby Boomers plan to look for a new job in response to increased living costs, and only 8% plan to ask for a raise. Age is a perceived barrier for Baby Boomers, as 46% of employed Baby Boomers say age is a factor that could prevent them from getting a new job if they wanted one.

“Workers are concerned about the effects of inflation, and they’re planning on taking action,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “Employers need to provide competitive compensation and work flexibility, and invest in employees’ professional development, if they want to keep and recruit quality talent in this labor market.”

Method

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of ASA June 2–6, 2022, among a total of 2,027 U.S. adults age 18 and older of whom 1,165 were employed. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data are accurate to within + 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Megan Sweeney at 703-253-1151.

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About the American Staffing Association

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 americanstaffing.net.

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 americanstaffing.net/workforcemonitor.

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 www.harrispoll.com and follow Harris Poll on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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