The cost of living crisis has driven one in three workers to consider moving employers, according to a survey by job site Reed.co.uk.
A third of employees have considered or applied for a new job, the company found, while 65% now feel a salary increase is their main priority when looking for a new role. It has increased in importance for 34% of workers, according to Reed.co.uk.
In terms of future plans, more than a fifth (22%) plan to begin job hunting, while over half are actively considering looking for a new job.
The site’s research follows news this week that real-terms wage growth has dropped by a record 3%, while inflation hit 10.1% in July.
Women are more likely to be motivated by a salary increase than men, according to Reed.co.uk, with 30% citing this as a priority compared with 27% of men. Younger workers are also more likely to be seeking out higher pay.
Retention & cost of living
Four in 10 of all respondents said they would be more likely to stay with their current employer if a better salary counter offer was made.
For workers aged 55 to 64 and over 65, most (32% and 38% respectively) salary increases of less than £1,000 would be enough to convince them to stay.
Younger workers in the 18 to 34 range and 35 to 44 age range said a salary increase of between £2,500 and £4,900 would encourage them to remain loyal.
Chairman James Reed said September could be a crunch time as workers begin to seek out new opportunities.
“Although the current economic landscape is challenging, amidst warnings of a looming recession from the Bank of England, UK workers should feel empowered to capitalise on the current labour market which continues to show high volumes of jobs being created,” he said.
“However, with inflation potentially rising to 13%, it could increasingly feel like workers are chasing after a galloping horse, with some workers having to take on a second or third job to keep up with the soaring cost-of-living increases.
“This could lead to a two-speed workforce with workers in some sectors falling behind others.”
Reed warned that businesses unable to keep up with inflationary pay rises would struggle to attract and retain staff.
“Offering desired pay rises costs less than replacing workers and our research shows that the vast majority of candidates are poised to accept a counter offer from their current employer provided it meets expectations,” he added.
“During these challenging times, it’s clear that many workers – particularly those feeling the pinch from the cost-of-living crisis – deserve a pay rise. For most, the best way could be to secure a new job.”