Rising cost of living: Survey says job security top concern for 52% workers

The cost of living crisis has affected the workers around the globe as a latest survey finds that 52 percent of them are worried about the impact of economic uncertainty on their job security with 37 percent workers fearing losing their job, which rises to 43 percent for Gen Z – a 10-point increase compared to the last year.

Moreover, both the Gen Z and the baby boomers are most impacted by the rising cost of living, the findings show, with 25 percent of workers have already opted to or are looking for a second job to meet their needs.

The term Gen Z is used for those born after 1990, however, the survey uses it the workers aged between 18 and 24. Baby boomers [born after the WWII] are in the age bracket of 55 to 65 while millennials are 25-34 years old.   

But limited new opportunities are not stopping people from thinking about new options as 20 percent of them mull over resigning to find a new better paying employment.

The latest Workmonitor by Randstad – now in its twentieth year – surveyed 35,000 workers in 34 markets across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas, which also says that workers still want flexibility, value alignment and a good work-life balance, with 61 percent of workers not accepting a job if it impacts work-life balance, despite macroeconomic headwinds.

Also, 70 percent workers think that their financial position is preventing them from retiring as early as they would like.

Interestingly, 33 percent respondents say they would rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job and 42 percent are of the view that they would quit their job if their employer did not take into account their request for better conditions.

Despite the cost of living crisis and new concerns over job security, these proportions are largely unchanged from last year’s Workmonitor (33 percent and 43 percent respectively).

Pandemic’s consequences

The research shows that the pandemic has left a lasting legacy on workers’ demands on flexibility:

  • Despite the economic environment, 61 percent of workers said that they would not accept a job if they thought it would impact their work-life balance.
  • The vast majority of workers (83 percent) also said that flexible working hours are important in terms of what they look for in a role, over parental leave policy (62 percent) and training and development (76 percent).
  • Nearly three quarters (71 percent) said that flexibility in terms of location is key.

Alongside practical requests, workers still want their employers’ values and purpose to align with their own. Over half (54 percent) said that they would quit a job if they felt like they didn’t belong there, and this is especially true of Gen Z (61 percent). Two-fifths of people wouldn’t accept a job if it didn’t align with their social and environmental priorities.

Effects on retirement plans

The cost of living crisis is also having an impact on workers’ expectations of retirement, with over a quarter (26 percent) of baby boomers delaying their retirement due to their financial position and 70 percent of workers saying money worries are preventing them from retiring as early as they would like. Meanwhile, the expected retirement age has risen too, as last year 61 percent thought they’d retire before 65, with only half agreeing now.

Expectations from employers

In addition to action on an individual level, workers are also looking to their employers to help them manage the cost of living crisis, whether that’s through increased salaries, subsidies or pay boosts outside of salary reviews.

  • 41 percent of workers would like a monthly pay boost from their employers.
  • 39 percent would like an increase in salary outside of the usual cadence of annual pay review.
  • Close to a third (28 percent) would like subsidies for the cost of energy, travel or other daily expenses.

This survey was conducted between October 18th – October 30th, 2022 in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

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