We research all brands listed and may earn a fee from our partners. Research and financial considerations may influence how brands are displayed. Not all brands are included. Learn more.

Published: Apr 19, 2023 3 min read
Two women, sitting next to a window, talking during a job interview
Getty Images

If the cost of living continues to creep up on you, and your paycheck just isn't keeping pace, know that you’re not alone.

A new report from job search site Monster.com explores how Americans are feeling the pressures of inflation, and what the companies they work for are doing (or not doing) to help.

In many ways, the portrait of the jobs market shown in the report isn't pretty. Four out of five workers in Monster's survey said that their wages haven't kept up with inflation, and 55% said their wages haven't increased at all over the past year.

What the research says

Inflation has cooled slightly in recent months, but many Americans are still barely treading water. That’s because while prices have risen across the board, workers often say that their wages have stagnated.

Here are some of the big takeaways from survey respondents in the Monster report:

  • 81% of Americans say that their wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living.
  • 55% of respondents said that they have not gotten a raise in over a year.
  • 85% of those who got a raise say that their last wage increase was less than 6% — widely considered to be the necessary yearly pay increase to match inflation.
  • 75% of Americans said they are being especially mindful of their expenses as a result of wage stagnation.
  • 40% said they are considering taking on a second job to help with their cost of living, and 67% said they are looking for a higher-paying job because of inflation.
  • 38% of respondents said they are burnt out at work, though 27% avoid taking sick days or “quiet quitting” due to feelings of job insecurity.

Bottom line

Starting pay expectations are now at an all-time high, and the average worker would need to be offered a salary of nearly $76,000 to switch jobs. Factors like record-low unemployment, increases in state minimum wages and new labor laws opening up pay transparency have helped to tilt the field in favor of workers.

This state of affairs could play well for those locked into jobs with stagnating wages. Based on the survey data, pay for many workers has clearly not kept up with the rising cost of living.

More from Money:

The Average Worker Requires a $76,000 Salary to Take a New Job — an All-Time High

Here Are the 10 Fastest-Growing Jobs for Workers With (and Without) College Degrees

Wages Aren’t Keeping up With Inflation — but Making This One Career Move Can Help