Majority of Americans Unhappy With Annual Salary, Considering Switching Jobs

Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they’re working jobs that don’t meet their annual salary requirements.

And 30% of those consumers say they plan to leave their current role for a new one, and hopefully a raise, in the next six months.

That’s according to the latest findings from PYMNTS’ “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report.”

Inflation in particular is eating away at consumers’ paychecks and putting them well behind on their income needs, with 63% of consumers living paycheck to paycheck as inflation continues to outpace wages.

Financial strain is even extending to those consumer groups that historically have comfortably managed their budgets.

Nine out of 10 consumers say their incomes have not grown at least on pace with inflation, and female consumers are less likely to report inflationary-tracking wage increases compared to male consumers. Just 14% of consumers say their earnings grew to match or exceed inflation.

Switching jobs is how many consumers have been able to jump-start their take-home pay. But while 62% of consumers are dissatisfied with their earnings, only one-third think they could successfully switch jobs and find a new position that would both meet their qualifications and satisfy their wage demands.

It’s financially struggling consumers who generally exhibit the highest turnover rates, while few workers in the highest income brackets report that they frequently change their places of employment in search of more earnings.


Most households (81%) have multiple income sources. Yet, nearly half (four in 10) have just one significant breadwinner representing three-quarters or more of household earnings, making them particularly vulnerable to swings in the labor market.

Male consumers were more likely to be breadwinners carrying more than 75% of their household income, as were consumers earning more than $100,000 a year.

With inflationary headwinds still swirling, the new year is set to be a challenging one. Only time will tell how the average American will adapt.

For more information on consumer sentiment around wages and employment and how it might affect your business, download PYMNTS’ Free Report, “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report.”