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Side Hustles, Extra Shifts, or a New Job – Inflation Forcing Workers to Raise Their Incomes

Workers are looking for new jobs, asking for extra shifts, or taking on side hustles to make ends meet as everyday expenses eat up a bigger chunk of their paychecks. A new Qualtrics (Nasdaq: XM) study finds that 64% of workers say it’s harder to pay for their living expenses than it was a year ago.

An increasing share of Americans consider their financial situation poor as inflation has pushed up prices on essentials like bread, eggs and baby formula. Compounding the impact of prices going up, many of the work-related expenses that were relieved by remote work, such as commute costs and full-time childcare, are returning as an increasing number of people head back to the office.

Rising costs are changing the employment landscape, and workers are taking steps to improve their financial standing by trimming their expenses, increasing their income, or both. Almost one in five (18%) of working adults have cut their expenses by moving to an area with a lower cost of living, and another 13% are planning to do so.

In efforts to increase their take-home pay, 57% of employees want the opportunity to work overtime or extra shifts. Outside of their current job, 37% have looked for jobs with higher salaries, and 38% of workers have looked for a second job. An additional 14% of people plan to look for a second job, meaning more than half of working Americans have considered holding multiple jobs to pay for their living expenses.

“With budgets tightening, workers are searching for ways to meet the rising cost of living, including finding new jobs,” said Qualtrics Chief Workplace Psychologist Dr. Benjamin Granger. “Employee turnover is a huge cost for companies, so it’s business critical for organizations to understand which of their employees are likely to leave and why, so they can make adjustments to reduce attrition and retain key performers.”

The quits rate is still above pre-pandemic rates as job seekers accelerate their search, trying to find a new role while openings are still available. But while the Great Resignation was largely marked by employees looking for companies whose values aligned with their own and trying to ease their mental health challenges brought on by work, today’s job seekers place the most value on compensation.

Working Parents Are Especially Strained

Parents are feeling the pressure even more – 69% of working parents say their pay isn’t keeping up with costs. Nearly half say they have looked for a new (43%) or second (47%) job, and 64% want to increase their work hours to increase their pay. Parents are also nearly twice as likely to have moved to cheaper cities as employees without children.

Methodology

This study was fielded in August-September 2022. Respondents were selected from a randomized panel and considered eligible if they live in the United States, are at least 18 years of age and working full-time. The total number of respondents was more than 1,000.