Show Them the Money: Pay Is Most Important for Potential Job Seekers

  • Just One-Third of White/Caucasian Adults Plan to Job Hunt, but Two-Thirds of Hispanics/Latinos and Half of Blacks/African Americans Are Ready to Make a Move in the Next Year

With four in 10 U.S. adults (41%) likely to look for a new Job Seekers within the next year, more than six in 10 (63%) say pay rate/salary would be among the most important factors if they were looking for a change, according to results from the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor online survey conducted by The Harris Poll in late October and early November 2021.


A job search, or even a change to a new career, is on the horizon for many U.S. adults. Forty-one percent of those surveyed are likely to job hunt within the next year, and 35% are likely to change careers. Showing a stark difference by race/ethnicity, the survey revealed that 64% of Hispanics/Latinos and 49% of Blacks/African-Americans are likely to look for a new job within the next year, but only 34% of Whites/Caucasians have similar plans. Likewise, about half of Hispanics/Latinos (50%) and Blacks/African-Americans (46%) plan on a career change while only 29% of Whites/Caucasians plan to do so in the next year.

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When asked what key factors were most important to them if they were looking for a new job within the next year, 63% of U.S. adults said that pay rates or salary would be among their most important decision-making factors, while 37% cited flexible work hours and 36% said benefits/perks. The ability to work remotely is important for one-quarter (25%) of U.S. adults.

“In the midst of the Great Resignation, employed individuals as well as active job seekers are looking at new opportunities for higher pay and more flexibility,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “If employers want to effectively compete in the war for talent, they’re going to have ensure their workers receive competitive compensation and that workplaces embrace flexible work schedules wherever feasible.”

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The study also included new data surrounding Covid-19 vaccinations and mandates: 61% of U.S. adults say they would rather work for a company that requires employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 than a company without such a requirement.

In particular, more than two-thirds (68%) of Baby Boomers say they would prefer to work for an employer with vaccine requirements, compared with 59% of Millennials, 56% of Generation X, and 55% of those in Generation Z. Meanwhile, 24% of Blacks/African Americans and 19% of Hispanics/Latinos would be likely to seek out jobs without a Covid-19 mandate if they were looking for a job within the next year compared with only 11% of White/Caucasian.

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