4 Out of 5 Global Workers Say Salary Isn’t Keeping Up with Inflation: Remote.co Reports

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Nearly a third have taken on a side job or started freelancing to offset current financial strains

“These findings provide valuable insight into how economic pressures are influencing global professionals across industries, career levels, and locations,” said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of Remote.co and FlexJobs.

Economic pressures are intensifying for job seekers and professionals, as inflation rates and fears of a recession grow. To better understand how inflation and recession concerns are impacting workers’ career decisions, financial health, and sentiments on job security, Remote.co’s Work & Financial Wellness Report surveyed over 1,100 global professionals between October 13 and October 30, 2022. According to the report, 80 percent of respondents said their current salary is not keeping up with inflation.

Additionally, 92 percent reported that inflation and recession concerns have affected their career and financial choices.

  • Nearly half (47 percent) specified that inflation and recession concerns have pushed them to find or start looking for a higher-paying job.
  • 31 percent said they took a side job or started freelancing.
  • 45 percent reported that they were following a stricter household or personal budget.
  • 23 percent said they’ve allocated more money towards savings or an emergency fund.

“With 90 percent of people saying they ‘need to work,’ workers everywhere are challenged by navigating their careers in an uncertain global economy,” said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of Remote.co and FlexJobs. “These findings provide valuable insight into how economic pressures are influencing global professionals across industries, career levels, and locations,” Sutton concluded.

In addition to career and financial decisions, Remote.co’s Work & Financial Wellness Report explored pressing questions around job security and career confidence.

When asked how concerned they are about job security in the next three months, two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents said they are “extremely concerned” or “somewhat concerned.”        

  • Extremely concerned (32%)
  • Somewhat concerned (31%)
  • Only slightly concerned (20%)
  • Not concerned at all (17%)

Moreover, only 15 percent of survey participants said they “have not considered a career change.” When asked if they are currently trying or have ever tried to change careers, respondents indicated:

  • Yes, I am actively trying to change careers right now (50%)
  • No, but I am considering trying to change careers (21%)
  • No, because I already successfully changed careers (12%)
  • No, because I already tried, and it didn't work out (3%)
  • No (15%)

Sixty-five percent of respondents stated they are only “somewhat confident” or “not at all confident” in their ability to find a suitable job.

  • Somewhat confident (50%)
  • Extremely confident (35%)
  • Not confident at all (15%)

Despite this level of confidence in job prospects, 63 percent of respondents said they’d “absolutely” look for a new job if not allowed to keep working remotely. The contrast signals the importance of remote work options for today’s professionals, the majority (84 percent) of whom consider it the most important factor when evaluating job prospects. Other top factors when evaluating job opportunities include:

  • Salary (81%)
  • Work-life balance (79%)
  • Work schedule (56%)
  • Meaningful work (50%)
  • Company culture (42%)
  • Skills training and education options (40%)
  • Career progression (40%)
  • Vacation time (38%)
  • Company reputation (38%)

To help job seekers find employment and avoid financial hurdles during challenging economic times, Remote.co’s career experts encourage professionals to set clear and intentional daily, weekly, and monthly goals that will help them to stay organized and on track in their job search. If faced with job searching during a recession, they advise seeking out fully remote positions, which can expand a candidate’s geographic range and available opportunities.

Additionally, finding employment during a recession may require a restructured job search or identifying alternative avenues to market oneself to different industries altogether. To do this, they recommend following these three tips:

1. Expand Job Options – Staying open to new industries and positions may be the key to finding a job during a recession. Consider freelance, part-time, temporary, and short-term assignments, knowing that these don’t have to be a permanent choice.

2. Practice Patience – Competition increases when there are fewer opportunities. As a result, the hiring process may take a longer time than usual and searching for a job during a recession means job seekers need to be as good an applicant as possible to stand out.

3. Closely Follow Industry Trends – During a recession, there will be layoffs and furloughs, as well as firings, but there are industries that will continue to grow. Being in the loop on the latest industry trends and news will help job seekers better assess, pivot, and target their career search as needed.

*Remote.co created and distributed the survey to its audience using a multiple choice and multi-select question format via SurveyMonkey’s online platform. The survey ran from October 13, 2022, to October 30, 2022.

Demographic breakdown of the 1,143 respondents: Gender: women (67%), men (31%), prefer not to identify (2%), prefer to self-describe (1%); Residence: US (49%), Canada (3%), outside US or Canada (48%); Generation: Gen Z (10%), millennial/Gen Y (40%), Gen X (34%), baby boomer (15%), silent generation (less than 1%); Education: less than a high school degree (less than 1%), high school degree or equivalent (8%), some college but no degree (16%), associate’s degree (7%), bachelor’s degree (44%), graduate degree (25%); Career level: entry-level (15%), experienced (53%), manager (17%), senior-level manager (8%), executive (5%); 33 percent had children 18 or younger living at home with them.

For more information, please visit https://remote.co/report-80-say-salary-isnt-keeping-up-with-inflation/ or contact Kathy Gardner at kgardner@flexjobs.com.

About Remote.co
Remote.co is the definitive remote work resource. Designed specifically for professionals and companies interested in or already embracing remote work, Remote.co is the leading space for innovative conversations around remote work.

About FlexJobs
FlexJobs is the leading career service specializing in remote, hybrid, and flexible jobs, with over 125 million people having used its resources since 2007. FlexJobs provides the highest-quality database of vetted remote and flexible job listings, from entry-level to executive, startups to public companies, part-time to full-time. To support job seekers in all phases of their career journey, FlexJobs also offers extensive expert advice, career coaching services, webinars, and other resources. In parallel, FlexJobs works with leading companies to recruit quality remote talent and optimize their remote and flexible workplace. A trusted source for data, trends, and insight, FlexJobs has been cited extensively in top national outlets, including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes magazine, and many more. FlexJobs also has partner sites Remote.co and Job-Hunt.org to help round out its content and job search offerings. Follow FlexJobs on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

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Kathy Gardner
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