Majority of workforce will look for a new job in the next 12 months

Most workers will be searching for a new job within the next 12 months, a new survey from Bankrate.com found.

“Most Americans (55%) who are either employed or looking for work — otherwise thought of as being in the workforce — are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months,” Bankrate said in the report. “This includes over three-quarters (77%) of Gen Zers (ages 18-24) and nearly two-thirds (63%) of millennials (ages 25-40),” the survey found.

This migration of workers from their current jobs is driven in large part by younger generations, who often have greater financial flexibility and fewer obligations, researchers found. The report noted that even working Americans not currently job-hunting may do so soon, as “some 28% of those currently employed and not in a job search said they will be looking for a new job in the next year.”

The rise of remote work during the pandemic has led to greater work flexibility, with many employees choosing to remain at home even after offices have reopened. Recent research suggests that workers have shown greater enthusiasm for remote work over the past year.

“I think the takeaway is that it's now been demonstrated that [remote work] can be done for so many different employers and employees,” Bankrate Senior Economic Analyst Mark Hamrick told Yahoo Finance.

More than half of these job seekers (56%) identified work flexibility as important to them. “Other qualities that job seekers say are important to them include higher pay (53%), job security (47%), more time off/vacation pay (35%) and better or more inclusive work culture (24%),” the survey noted.

Yet the increase in workers’ wages may fuel the ongoing rise in the price level, Hamrick warned.

“With a majority of those in the labor force eager for higher pay, as seen in our survey, a not-yet-answerable question is whether wage growth will be a significant contributor to higher sustained inflation,” Hamrick said. “This is being closely monitored by the Federal Reserve as it ponders future adjustments to monetary policy, including the prospect of higher interest rates down the road.”

Rising inflation has been cause for concern for companies and workers alike, as prices jumped more than 5% in July after a similarly high rate in June.

Even so, the job market has been generally a solid one for workers, at least in terms of employment and nominal wages. Job postings in the U.S. eclipsed pre-pandemic baselines in August, while initial unemployment claims continue to fall.

Hamrick noted that the added leverage given to workers provides an opportunity for those looking to switch jobs or enter the labor force in a job with better-than-usual benefits.

“I think that, for many workers, or prospective workers, and that includes those who would be newly graduated from college or [new entries to] the workforce … there's an opportunity to try to strike while the proverbial employment iron is hot,” he said.

Ihsaan Fanusie is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @IFanusie.

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