Grappling with Inflation: Bluecrew Finds 70% of U.S. Workers Seeking Additional Hours to Combat the Increased Cost of Living

Survey Shows Inflation’s Impact on American Workers, How Employees Rank Happiness on the Job, and Post-Pandemic Priorities

Bluecrew, the first W-2 Workforce-as-a-Service platform providing workplaces with high-quality hourly workers, released new data that shows nearly 70% of American workers are seeking additional work to combat the increased cost of living. Soaring inflation, with rising gas, food, healthcare, and housing prices––coupled with incomes and the federal minimum wage not increasing at the same rate––resulted in nearly 7 in 10 of those surveyed saying the current economy has caused them to work more hours (69%) or to re-evaluate their current work situation (68%).

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“American workers have taken a one-two punch in the last several years: just as pandemic-induced unemployment declines, inflation rates rapidly soar, forcing people around the country to reexamine how they’re spending and earning”

Inflation is at the highest point in over 20 years, but unemployment has matched a 53-year low. While the job market is strong, workers are being swamped by higher expenses, causing a majority of those surveyed to work multiple jobs or seek flexible gig or part-time work to fill in the gaps. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans surveyed said they are currently looking for or are interested in short-term gig work (58%).

“American workers have taken a one-two punch in the last several years: just as pandemic-induced unemployment declines, inflation rates rapidly soar, forcing people around the country to reexamine how they’re spending and earning,” said Matt Laurinas, Chief Customer Officer at Bluecrew. “As price increases persist, we anticipate more American households picking up additional roles and exploring flexible, shift-based and part-time opportunities to make ends meet. As U.S. businesses strive to keep reliable workers clocking in, it’s critical to understand what’s most important to the average worker: fair wages, work / life balance, and competitive benefits.”

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Key findings include:

Inflation’s Impact on U.S. Workers

  • 85% of Americans said that inflation has impacted their recent spending and buying habits
  • 72% said inflation has impacted the way they view their job and 57% said they have sought out new or additional roles over the past year due to the rising cost of living
    • Half of all respondents said they actively seek out additional work seasonally (e.g. picking up extra shifts around the holidays)
    • 65% said that they foresee themselves looking for new opportunities in the coming months and into 2023 to continue to combat rising inflation

The survey also took the pulse on Americans’ views on their relationship to their job and employer, finding that even as workers seek additional income, happiness on the job is of paramount importance.

Relationships + Benefits Matter

  • 78% said that their employer’s interest in their happiness impacted their work (specifically the effort they’re willing to put forth)
  • 63% said they would be more willing to leave a job they don’t love than they may have pre-pandemic
    • Americans said they consider the below criteria to be a bigger priority when considering staying with a job now now vs. pre-pandemic:
      • Wages/Pay – 57%
      • Work/life balance – 56%
      • Benefits – 55%
      • Schedule/flexibility – 51%
      • Enjoying what I do – 47%
      • Prioritizing my mental health – 39%
  • When it comes to accepting a job, more than half of Americans ranked wages and pay to be the most important factors followed by location, schedule (e.g. mornings vs. night shifts / weekends), flexibility (e.g. ability to call out when needed, swap shifts), and opportunities for growth, respectively
  • Respondents consider access to medical insurance (34%) to be the most critical in terms of workplace benefits followed by protections and insurance (27%) paid time off (23%), then, employee tax benefits (9%) and overtime eligibility (8%).

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