Pay Needed to Tempt Workers Away Reaches 10-Year High

Average desired wage climbs nearly $8.5K in 4 months, according to New York Fed survey
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2024 11:47 AM CDT
Pay Needed to Tempt Workers Away Reaches 10-Year High
Job seekers line up for a career fair in Oak Brook, Ill., July 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

The lowest compensation job searchers are willing to accept for a new position has increased to the highest level in a decade, even as hiring slows. Job searchers say they require $81,822 in annual compensation, on average, to switch jobs, according to the latest consumer expectations survey, conducted every four months by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. In November, the lowest compensation required, on average, was significantly lower than last month at $73,391, per CNBC. Some takeaways:

  • Aiming up: The typical full-time US worker earns a median $60,000 per year, per Bloomberg. But a recent SmartAsset analysis suggests that "to live comfortably by traditional budgeting advice, the average person needs to earn upwards of $89,000."
  • Drivers: Men, workers under 45, and higher-income workers are largely behind the change, per Bloomberg.
  • Gender gap: On average, men expect to be paid $29,200 more than women do ($95,500 compared with $66,300). The gender gap is up from $21,700 in 2020.
  • Expert view: New hires are "are behaving as though they have a lot of bargaining power and leverage," ZipRecruiter chief economist Julia Pollak tells CNBC. And in a sense, they do, as turnover for on-site jobs remains high.

  • Competition: The share of individuals looking for work is at its highest level since July 2020, however, at 25%, according to the survey, up from 23% in November.
  • Hiring: In general, the pace of hiring is slowing, says Pollak. Still, more companies are actively recruiting for open positions and trying harder to keep employees from quitting, reports CNBC.
  • Staying put: The survey suggests workers are generally staying in one place. "The share of respondents saying they were with a new employer fell to the lowest since the survey was started a decade ago," per Bloomberg.
  • Retirement: The high expectations also extend to early retirement, as a record low 46% of people expect to be working past age 62. Some 31% expect to work past 67.
(More salary stories.)

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