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Pay rate is top priority for U.S. job seekers 2022 voice of the blue-collar worker survey finds

May 23, 2022

Work schedule and shift are more important than ever, according to study’s 19,491 participants

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pay rate is the top factor U.S. wage earners look for when seeking a job, according to the nearly 19,500 wage earners who took part in the 16th annual Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker survey. Nearly 40 percent of hourly workers chose this as their top factor, up from 32 percent last year, when it was also the top factor.


"Hourly workers are absolutely essential to the U.S. economy, yet often their perspectives are not heard or understood"


“Competitive wages will continue to be a vital factor for employers looking to succeed in a job market in which openings still outnumber the total number of unemployed workers, although average hourly pay rates now exceed the consumer price index (CPI), rising inflation and other economic pressures continue to eat away at the buying power of those wages,” said Cathi Canfield, key architect of this year’s survey and Employbridge’s vice president of brand solutions and marketing.

Other key 2022 findings include:

  • In addition to pay rates, blue-collar workers care about total compensation factors such as retirement and healthcare benefits.
  • While shift and schedule flexibility have been important in the past, this year they rank in the top three factors in workers’ decisions about which job they choose — and whether to stay at a job.
  • Despite a tumultuous year, workers are optimistic about their own financial futures and “satisfied” with their current roles.
  • COVID-19 concerns have declined significantly but are still present, particularly for female workers.

The 16th annual survey, which took place this year between February 21 and March 23, is the most comprehensive and longest running look at America’s hourly, blue-collar workers. Participants filled out online surveys, anonymously answering multiple-choice and free-response questions on what they want from a job, what attracts them and what will get them to stay in a job.

“Hourly workers are absolutely essential to the U.S. economy, yet often their perspectives are not heard or understood,” added Ms. Canfield. “Employbridge launched the annual survey in 2007 to amplify the voice of this vital component of the U.S. economy and to provide reliable and factual information on workforce views to help employers be more competitive in the current labor market.”


About Employbridge

As workforce specialists, Employbridge provides value-added workforce solutions and job opportunities through focused specialty divisions including Decca, Hire Dynamics, ProDrivers, ProLogistix, Remedy Intelligent Staffing, RemX, Resdin, ResourceMFG, Select, Vaughan, and Westaff. Combining the advantages of national scale, in-depth local market knowledge, supply-chain expertise, and powerful recruiting and retention tools, Employbridge is recognized by Staffing Industry Analysts as America’s largest industrial staffing firm. The company puts more than 450,000 temporary associates to work annually across a network of 446 offices in 48 states. In 2021, Employbridge provided more than 157 million work hours to 13,000 customers, generating more than $3.8 billion in revenue. Employbridge is also helping close the skills gap in America’s supply chain by providing free, career-focused skills development courses to its temporary associates as well as personal training courses through the firm’s Better WorkLife Academy and Life Skills Studio; more than 28,000 temporary associates are currently enrolled. Employbridge is majority-owned by certain investment funds managed directly or indirectly by Apollo Global Management, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates.

Media contacts

Berry Brady: berry@fulltiltconsulting.com
Nancy Broe: nbroe@fulltiltconsulting.com

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