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Paycheck Can't Sustain Self & Family - 6 in 10 US Workers

Updated: May 30


A dollar bill disappearing
US workers feel that their paycheck is not enough

According to the most recent Harris Poll for the American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey, nearly 6 in 10 U.S. workers worry that their paycheck won't be enough to support themselves or their families.


As workers try to keep up with the rise in inflation, what this means is that nearly 58 percent of American adults who are working are concerned that their income won't be enough to meet their needs.


Some other stats from this survey show that nearly 30% of those polled said they intended to change jobs within the next six months, and another 28% said they would look for a second job. Frequently changing jobs will help workers to get to a higher income faster, as compared to staying in a job and getting promoted to take on a higher role.


Workers in the Millennial and Gen Z generations were most likely to say they would look for a new, better-paying job in the upcoming six months. Why are American adults not satisfied with their paychecks? Is inflation actually taking a toll on our working population? What do these stats mean in a literal sense, for both, workers and employers? Let’s see.


Potential Recession Worries & Work

In order to hire more people in a competitive market, employers have been raising pay and offering additional benefits like flexible schedules, free meals, or a stronger emphasis on employee recognition.


However, some businesses may decide to reduce spending due to worries about a recession and future consumer spending. To keep up with rising costs, many workers are already preparing to change their employment situation in the coming year: According to 65% of respondents, they expect to start looking for new opportunities in 2023. If unemployment increases as a result of a recession, that number might increase.


According to a Bluecrew survey of workers, pay is the factor that matters most to them when accepting a new job, followed by location, scheduling (such as the ability to work morning, evening, or weekend shifts), flexibility (such as the ability to call out when necessary), and opportunities for advancement.


Role Of Human Resource Managers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation reached a 40-year high in June after increasing by 8.5% year over year in March, the highest inflation rate since 1981. The latest data confirms the harm that rising inflation is doing to workers' financial and mental health. These worries also serve as a wake-up call for HR executives: Increase wages or provide other assistance to combat the rising cost of living, or else be ready to lose staff to jobs that pay more.


Some businesses are taking pay and inflation worries seriously: For instance, according to recent data from Willis Towers Watson, 64% of U.S. companies plan to increase pay raises over the previous year. Additionally, businesses plan to raise salaries by 4.1% on average in 2023.


The planned raises, however, are much lower than the rate of inflation: According to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index reached a 40-year high in June, rising 9.1% year over year. That suggests there is still a lot of room for improvement if employers want to retain their workforce.


According to Richard Wahlquist, president, and chief executive officer of ASA, "workers are concerned about the effects of inflation and they're planning to take action." If employers want to retain and attract top talent in this labor market, they must offer competitive pay, work flexibility, and professional development funding.


How Can Employers Help


Bonuses And Raises In Pay

A clear way to assist staff members or employees with the rising inflation? More money. To aid employees, employers are raising salaries and giving out more bonuses. According to Gartner research, about 63% of organizations intend to raise wages to reflect inflation.


Permit Working Remotely

Offering remote work, hybrid schedules or flexibility can help employees take more control over their finances, commutes, and circumstances, which can help combat the rising cost of living. Importantly, workers who work from home reduce commuting to help save on gas or other transportation costs. They can also more easily prepare food and eat at home and avoid routine (and frequently expensive) lunches or coffee breaks with coworkers.


Put Off Raising The Premium

Employers frequently respond to rising inflation by reviewing employee healthcare costs and delaying raising the employee share of premiums. This year, there will be a lot of discussion about this topic as rising healthcare costs are a result of recent inflation figures, as well as a number of other factors, including missed preventive care, delayed diagnoses due to the pandemic, consolidated health systems, COVID-19 infections, and long-haul COVID.


Promote Work Benefits

Financial wellness programs that can assist employees with budgeting, saving for emergencies, or learning how to stretch their money are already available through a large number of employers. The time is now to advance them if that is the case.


Invest In Extra Benefits

Gift cards for groceries and gas are being distributed by some businesses, which can go a long way toward reassuring employees that they are taken care of as inflation soars. Other companies might want to think about funding benefits like student loan assistance, childcare discounts, or fertility benefits—programs that directly benefit an employee's finances. Organizations typically see a return on their investments.


Key Takeaways

  • According to the most recent Harris Poll for the American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey, nearly 6 in 10 U.S workers feel that their paycheck is not enough to sustain themselves and their families amidst the rising inflation.

  • This is resulting in many workers frequently jumping from one job to another to increase their paychecks quickly. This is also a concern for hiring managers in the US.

  • Employers can do their bit to support the workers amidst the rising inflation and to ensure employee retention. Organizations should raise wages to reflect inflation.

  • Additionally, workers who work from home reduce commuting to help save on gas or other transportation costs. So, if possible, employers should introduce hybrid and remote working models.

  • Employers also frequently respond to rising inflation by reviewing employee healthcare costs. Financial wellness programs can also assist employees with budgeting, saving for emergencies, or learning how to stretch their money. The time is now to advance with them if that is the case.

  • Gift cards for groceries and gas are being distributed by some businesses, which can go a long way toward reassuring employees that they are taken care of as inflation soars.

  • Other companies might want to think about funding benefits like student loan assistance, childcare discounts, or fertility benefits—programs that directly benefit an employee's finances.

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