Inflation is pushing some workers into new jobs – and some regret it

Despite extremely low unemployment in the first half of 2022, job seekers are bracing for worsening conditions amid growing concerns about inflation, gas prices and a potential recession. according to a new survey by job search platform Joblist.

The survey found that 80% of job seekers expect the US to enter a recession in the next year and 49% expect the job market to deteriorate in the next six months. As a result, 60% of job seekers feel more urgency to find a job now before market conditions change.

Notably, one in four (26%) who quit their previous job during the Great Resignation now say they regret the decision, and 42% say their new job has not met their expectations.

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When regrets started to show, 17% of respondents said they would go back to their old jobs and another 24% said they are at least open to returning. And 23% said their former employer contacted them to come back, according to the Q2 US Job Market Report from Job List. (The company conducted five surveys of 15,158 U.S. respondents in April, May, and June.)

Yet 78% of job seekers surveyed by the company still believe they can make more money by switching organizations.

“Do some people regret changing jobs? Of course they do. The buyer’s regret is a fact,” said Lisa Rowan, vice president of human resources software and services research at IDC. “[But] I think the mentioned cases [in Joblist’s survey] be a bit exaggerated.”

Retaining technical talent and attracting new employees remains one of the top management concerns, according to Rowan. She compared IDC’s 2021 HR Decision-Maker Survey and this year’s recently completed survey and found little difference between the two in terms of talent attraction.

“In my opinion, the Great Resignation is still happening,” she said. “To put my fortune teller on his glasses, I think the resignation may slow down later this year, but it hasn’t yet. As inflation continues to climb unabated, some companies will suffer and may begin to curtail it.” hiring staff, which delays the job change.”

The number of workers who have retired in the past year has remained relatively stable at more than four million per month, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics/Foundry

The number of U.S. workers leaving their jobs has remained above 4 million per month for the past year.

Mathew Merker, a research manager for Talent Acquisition and Strategy at IDC, agreed with Rowan and said the Great Resignation is underway. Inflation may force organizations to pull out of hiring, Merker said, but it also causes more employees to consider alternatives with higher pay options if company salaries don’t keep pace.

“The grass that isn’t always greener is pretty common and not something new to the Great Resignation. Maybe it’s just a bit amplified by the volume of the movements,” Merker said.

However, concerns about the recession are real, Merker said. “…That may mean those who resign will not do so until they can go elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean they won’t go when there’s a better one [quality of life] or a higher salary,” he said.

(Joblist’s report isn’t the only study showing the effects of an impending economic downturn. IT consulting firm Janco Associates released a report last week that found IT jobs for entry-level positions have declined significantly amid fears of an impending recession. .)

Overall, Joblist explored a variety of topics US workers are dealing with, including how wage increases relate to inflation, the effect of high gas prices on commuters, regrets about the large layoff, and what’s driving a recent surge in “retirements” .

Key findings include:

Gas prices are a major concern for most commuters, with 59% claiming that rising costs at the pump are putting “high” or “very high” financial pressures on them. Of early retirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 60% of workers looking to return to work say they are simply “looking for something to do”, while only 27% cite financial reasons. 41% of workers received a pay increase in the first half of 2022, but only 28% of these increases exceeded ~8.5% inflation.

“In our research, we found that wage increases have been common in 2022 so far, but are typically not big enough to offset inflation,” the Joblist report said.

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Tony Guadagni, senior director of HR practice at research firm Gartner, said that while most pay increases in the past year have been well below inflation, he expects this to change.

“Wages will eventually catch up. It’s going slow,” he said. “It really has to do with the way the compensation is determined. Virtually all organizations market reimbursements. They have a set of benchmarks on what organizations pay for a specific position and profession. That determines the salary.

“Ultimately, inflation will drive up salaries,” Guadagni said.

And as recession fears mount — 80% of job seekers expect the U.S. to enter a recession in the next year — 78% of workers told Joblist they can still make more money by switching jobs. That is the same result as in a Joblist survey from November 2021.

work list

Still, any pay increase will be slow as organizations don’t want to adjust pay in response to external changes. “Instead of being in a position to adjust salaries for all these dynamics and externalities, they’re really just basing it on market rates,” Guadagni said.

As for higher gas prices, “in general, employers are doing little to ease the pressure — only 8% of commuters reported that their employer had taken steps to offset gas costs, Jobslist reported.

Another revelation from Joblist’s research concerns ‘out-of-body experiences’, which are now on the rise. According to Joblist, most people looking to return to work are “happy” (52%) or “excited” (42%) to get back to work, and 79% are exclusively looking for part-time jobs.

“Job seekers are concerned that a recession is coming and now feel more urgency to find a job before conditions change,” Joblist CEO Kevin Harrington said in the report. “So far the market has been largely resilient, despite these concerns from job seekers. Hopefully that trend will continue in the coming months.”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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