Personal finance

Not earning enough? Many workers are unhappy with their pay

The “Great Resignation,” also known as the “Great Reshuffle,” has many Americans at least considering a career move.

But increasingly, job hopping may be more necessary than voluntary as the recent spike in inflation puts households under financial stress.

While wage growth is high by historical standards, it isn’t keeping up with the increased cost of living, which is rising at the fastest annual pace in about four decades.

Now, two-thirds of American workers said their pay is not adequate to cover the rising cost of inflation, according to a report by Credit Karma, which polled more than 2,000 adults in February.

Roughly 62% of the U.S. population is living paycheck to paycheck, a separate survey by LendingClub found.

Even the wealthiest Americans are having a harder time getting by. Half of workers earning more than $100,000 said they have little to nothing left over at the end of the month, according to LendingClub’s poll of 3,250 adults.

“With inflation hitting even the wealthiest Americans’ pocketbooks, the ranks of paycheck-to-paycheck Americans continues to swell,” said Anuj Nayar, LendingClub’s financial health officer.

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Most of the workers who quit last year said low pay was the top reason they left, along with no opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center.

Low- to moderate-income workers, in particular, have suffered financially, said Juliana Horowitz, one of the authors of the report, “and that could help explain why people are looking for higher pay.”

Those who now have a new position are more likely to say their current job has better pay, increased opportunities for advancement and greater work-life balance and flexibility, the report also found.

Job hopping is typically considered the best bet for a big salary bump

Wage gains for people who switched jobs have outpaced those for people who have stayed at one employer since 2011, according to the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank’s wage growth tracker, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In recent months, the gap between job switchers and stayers has only become greater.

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