61% of workers say they need this much more in salary to live comfortably

This is the second year in a row where such a low percentage of employees were living comfortably at their current salary.

Just because it’s a candidates’ market doesn’t mean it translates into high salaries and raises.

A new report from Indeed reveals that just 18% of workers are living comfortably at their current salary, and 61% of all workers say they would need an average of $6,000 more in order to feel comfortable. This is the second year in a row where such a low percentage of employees were living comfortably at their current salary; last year’s number was 19%, according to the previous report from Indeed.


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They’re getting raises, but not in the $6,000 range. Instead,  they’re small. While 75% of employees received a raise in the last two years, of that percentage, 85% received a raise of 6% or less.

Forty-four percent received a raise of 3% or less – which is really just enough to keep up with the changes in the cost of living.

A recent report from Payscale showed that companies had budgeted out just 3% for raises in 2019.

Men are getting higher raises than women: 45% of men got raises of 4-6%, whereas 48% of women reported raises of 3%.

Half of workers are planning on asking for a raise this year. Men are gunning for bigger increases than women are – step up, ladies – with men planning to ask for a 6-10% increase and women planning an ask of 5% or less.

The situation of compensation combined with weak raises is dire enough that 20% would “definitely” consider leaving their job for more money elsewhere, and 39% would “possibly” do it.

However, perks are non-financial ways to convince an underpaid employee to stay, and women were most enthusiastic about flexible work hours (42%). Men wanted more vacation time (37%).

Still, 30% of workers want the money, hands-down, responding that there was “no substitute” for a higher salary.


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.