66% of Workers Say Inflation Outpacing Salary Gains

Worried bookkeeper woman calculating looking at calculator sitting on a desk at homeoffice.
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The four-decade high inflation is hitting Americans in every aspect of their life, from ballooning food and gas prices to an extremely pricey housing market. And now, it’s also taking a toll on employees’ salary perceptions, as two-thirds of workers say inflation has outpaced any salary gains they’ve made in the past 12 months, according to a recent survey.

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The CNBC|Momentive survey found that because of higher inflation, 28% of workers who now say they are “not well paid,” is at an all-time high from previous surveys, and is up 3 points from the November 2021 survey. 

In addition, only 19% of workers say increases in their salary have matched inflation and a meager 13% say their salary has increased more than inflation.

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The survey also found that 39% of workers say they have seriously considered quitting their jobs in the past three months, up from 33% in November 2021. The sentiment is especially prevalent among low-wage workers making under $50,000 per year.

Indeed, 43% of these workers say they have seriously considered quitting, compared to 29% of those making $150,000 per year or more. Full-time and part-time workers are about equally likely to say they’re looking to quit, with 38% and 41%, respectively, the survey notes. In addition, 42% of working mothers with children under 18 say they’ve seriously considered quitting in the last three months versus 36% of working fathers. 

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These findings are in line with the BMO Real Financial Progress Index, released May 31, which found that inflation and rising consumer costs were severely affecting Americans. The index found that 60% of Americans said that inflation has adversely affected their personal finances, with one in four saying that they have felt a major impact. In turn, as a result of inflation, 36% of Americans have reduced their savings and 21% have reduced their retirement savings, the BMO Index noted.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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