- U.S. hourly workers said they job hunt for pay, security and benefits and they remain in jobs because of the culture, schedule and training, according to an EmployBridge study. The industrial staffing firm polled 18,505 workers from the logistics and manufacturing industries in 45 states for its Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker study.
- The survey found that 26% of employed respondents were actively job hunting, while an additional 30% said they would consider a new job if they came across the opportunity. While more than half of respondents prefer a stable, five-day-a-week, first-shift work schedule, a mere $1.30 per hour pay increase would persuade 72% of respondents to work a second- or third-shift schedule. In addition, 90% of workers showed interest in apprenticeships, and 38% were "extremely interested" in apprenticeships, EmployBridge said.
- With more than 7 million job openings in the U.S., competition for low-wage earners has increased, EmployBridge said. As a result, logistics and manufacturing workers' wages have gone up from $12.45 in 2017 to $13.87 in 2019, according to the company.
Money remains the top incentive for most employees, especially hourly workers — a fact supported by the EmployBridge survey and similar studies. In June, a report from Branch, a mobile platform for hourly workers, found that higher pay was the top priority for surveyed workers; more than three-fourths of those surveyed had less than $500 saved for emergencies.
Employers across industries might need to bump up wages to attract hourly workers, as some have for other in-demand, hard-to-hire categories of workers, like cybersecurity specialists. In fact, retail giants like Walmart, Amazon and Target have raised wages in the competition to attract and retain hourly workers.
Branch also found that hourly workers preferred a positive work culture, a predictable work schedule and flexible scheduling, along with a supportive manager. But the most significant outcome in the report was that hourly workers preferred to move up within their companies, rather than go elsewhere to advance in their careers. This result is particularly significant for employers because it suggests that providing clear paths toward professional growth can be an effective retention strategy.
It's also clear that hourly workers place high value on training and upskilling, as the EmployBridge survey showed; 95% of the respondents said they would invest their own personal time to learn a new skill, and nearly 33% would invest five hours a week of their personal time to gain new skills. The company attributed hourly workers' interest in training to their need to acquire skills for emerging technologies. Those who don't are more likely to struggle with automation.