Nearly six in 10 U.S. Workers say their paycheck is not enough to support themselves or their families

Employed Baby Boomers were much less likely to search for a new job, and also cited 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.”


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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