Workers across the country are leaving their jobs in search for better pay, more hours and better benefits, according to a new report from Axios.
The survey of more than 100,000 workers in all 50 states found that more than half of them are looking for full-time work to pay bills, save for a down payment on a home, or get their children to college.
“This is not a sign of weakness, this is a sign that people are looking at a better future for themselves,” said Steve Zindler, chief executive officer of the American Federation of Government Employees.
“We’re in the middle of a recovery in the private sector.”
The survey found that workers were not taking the jobs they were offered for granted.
Nearly one in four of the workers who answered the question, “What do you like most about working in your job?” said they enjoyed working with others and had been willing to work extra hours to earn a raise.
“I am more satisfied with my job today,” said one of the survey respondents.
“It’s a lot easier for me than I was a year ago.
I can afford to buy groceries.”
A new generation of workers may be looking for more of the same, as the workforce ages.
Nearly half of workers aged 25 to 34, for example, say they are looking to find a full- or part-time job that will give them more flexibility and time off to focus on their families, but the median salary for those workers is only $34,000.
“The idea that there is a golden age for the work force is not borne out by the facts,” Zindlin said.
“In fact, the working-age population is aging.
There’s a real concern about a retirement crisis.”
This is not the first time workers are searching for better compensation, but it is a new and significant trend.
“People are searching and looking for the best jobs, but they’re not finding them,” Zendler said.
That trend has been taking place for a decade now, but only a few of the states that participated in the survey have seen the rate of people leaving their job in search rise significantly.
“Our survey has shown that there has been a sharp increase in people looking for new opportunities to get a better job, and that trend has accelerated over the last decade,” said Michael Cammack, a senior economist at the National Employment Law Project.
“Some of that is a result of the economic crisis, some of it is just an extension of the recession that we’re experiencing.”
The number of workers who say they want to take a full time job has also increased in recent years, according the survey.
“More than half are looking beyond their current job,” Zinder said.
In 2018, more than 40 percent of workers in the age group 25 to 54 said they would like to find another job to help support their families.
A quarter said they were looking for part- time work.
Workers in that age range are more likely to be younger and less likely to have a college degree than those in the younger demographic, according a 2015 report from the Census Bureau.
“If you look at the workforce as a whole, there are a lot more people with a degree,” Zandler said, pointing to people of all ages who are looking into part- or full- time jobs.
“When you’re looking at young people and people who are young in their 30s and 40s, it’s really a big issue.”
The data from Axi suggests that the trend could be changing as the baby boomers get older.
“There’s a very real concern that people will be looking out for themselves and that they’ll be looking at the economy as well as their own future,” Zjord said.
More than three-quarters of those who responded said they are worried that the country is heading in the wrong direction.
The national median income is now $54,300, but that’s only a little higher than it was in 2014.
While there has not been an overall increase in the number of people who want to work more hours, workers in their 40s are more interested in finding part-timers than those under 35, the survey found.
“What we’re seeing is an increasing number of older workers who are very interested in taking full-timer jobs and looking at that as an opportunity,” Cammak said.
The report also found that women are more attracted to full- and part- timers than men.
Among women, more women than men said they want full-timer jobs.
That’s also true of those in their late 30s, 40s and 50s, and the data from the survey also showed that young women are most likely to want full timers.
“A lot of it has to do with how much people are willing to sacrifice for the company and how they’re willing to give up some of their rights,” Ziendler added.