More Than 3 in 4 Americans Say They Plan to Stay Put and Many Are Willing to Take a Pay Cut to Avoid Being Laid Off, According to National

As labor market tightens and more companies conduct layoffs, American workers focus on their top priorities job security and better pay

Recent layoffs in the tech sector, signs of a slowdown in jobs growth, inflation and the threat of a recession next year all have American workers staying put for now, according to a new survey from Insight Global, a leading national staffing company.

The survey, conducted in late October among 1,005 adults nationwide, revealed that 77%, or more than 3 in 4, full-time workers plan to stay in their current jobs – a vast difference from the job-hopping mindset during the Great Resignation. Workers are also looking to make themselves more indispensable, according to the survey.

  • More than 3 in 4 (77%) Americans say they plan to stay in their current job due to the current economic environment.

  • 73% of American workers say the fear of a possible recession has motivated them to upskill – learn and improve their skill sets or take on additional projects at work – to help ensure they keep their job.

  • More than 7 in 10 (71%) Americans say they’re worried about losing their job if there is a recession. Given several tech giants have recently laid off thousands of employees, it’s no surprise that tech employees more often than other workers across industries (83%) express job security worries.

  • 61% of workers said they would be willing to take a pay cut to avoid being laid off if there is a recession. Employees in management roles are even more inclined to take a cut in pay compared to non-management employees, with 3 in 4 (75%) managers saying they would be willing to take a pay cut.

Workers who see the value in being indispensable may be onto something: According to the Insight Global survey, even as companies are laying off workers, they’re also holding on to talent in order to be prepared for an economic rebound.

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  • Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) managers say their organization is engaging in the practice of what economists call “labor hoarding” – a trending behavior among employers who have struggled to retain talent and want to avoid falling victim to another labor shortage.

Bert Bean, CEO of Insight Global, says this type of practice certainly has its advantages. “Despite economic and financial uncertainty, I believe this is the time for leaders to double down on having a shared purpose among their teams, inspiring them to stay, and working together as a united front to tackle the challenges ahead. I encourage leaders to channel that uncertainty into an opportunity to foster trust, transparency and strong communication with employees so when things turn around, your teams will be stronger than ever.”

Paycheck Wars

Companies that do want to retain top talent and avoid a labor shortage may find they have to pay workers more. According to the Insight Global survey, workers are seeking higher pay even while companies are making budget cuts.

  • Nearly 3 in 5 (57%) job seekers are looking for better pay, according to a survey of job seekers conducted in October.

  • Nearly a third (32%) of American workers say their employers are no longer spending money on pay raises; almost 3 in 10 (29%) of Americans say the same about bonuses.
Recession Planning and Transparency

Insight Global has been tracking workforce perceptions as they relate to job security, the threat of a recession, financial preparedness and transparency since June, when the company surveyed workers amid persistent speculation about whether or not a recession was inevitable. That survey revealed that over 7 in 10 (71%) employees expressed worry about losing their job if there is a recession and brought awareness to the Great Apprehension, an overwhelming feeling of uneasiness among workers.

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The company’s most recent survey shows how much these perceptions have evolved in the last few months with these observations:

  • Managers have been planning for a recession. More than 8 in 10 (82%) managers say they feel better prepared for a recession than they did four months ago.

  • Leaders aren’t as quick to resort to layoffs. In June, 87% of managers said they were likely to consider laying off employees if there is a recession, but in October, just 79% of managers said this was likely.

  • Lack of transparency is still a problem. In June, just under half (47%) of non-management employees said they did not trust their employers would adequately communicate their recession plans. In October, almost 9 in 10 (87%) non-management employees now say they do not know about their employer’s recession plan; while nearly 3 in 4 (72%) managers say they do have knowledge of such plans.

“As a staffing company, we see firsthand how economic turbulence and layoffs can start a domino effect throughout all industries,” said Bean. “But when times get tough, like they did during the Great Recession, we’ve also seen Americans rise to the occasion. My advice for anyone who, unfortunately, loses their job during these complex times is to lead with grit, determination and an entrepreneurial spirit. You never know what startup or innovation will rise from the ashes.”

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American workersEmployeesInsight Globaljob securityJobs Growth
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