One in five employees looking for new job as rising costs leave workers struggling to pay bills

As inflationary challenges continue to impact wallets nationwide, many employees are feeling increasingly cash-strapped, with just 35% of workers having money left over for savings and discretionary spending once bills are paid

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More than 20% of Irish workers are looking for a new job as sustained cost of living pressures leave almost a quarter struggling to pay their bills, new figures from PWC reveal.

Publishing its Irish 2023 Hopes and Fears Workforce survey, the professional services firm found that one in five believe that their employer will not be in business in the next ten years if they continue on their current path, with PWC warning that a lack of confidence will have an impact on staff retention.

Employee numbers continue to be a pressing issue for employers, with 22% of Irish workers confirming that they will change jobs in the next 12 months, up slightly from 21% in the previous year.

In addition, 23% of workers said they were struggling with bills, with the number of employees unable to cover costs more than doubling compared to last year. Only 36% felt that they were fairly rewarded for the work they do in comparison to 42% globally. At the same time, 23% said that they are overworked.

The survey also highlights that 62% of Irish employees work in a hybrid model, up from 43% last year but still behind the global percentage of 54%.

Cash-strapped workers

As inflationary challenges continue to impact wallets nationwide, many employees are feeling increasingly cash-strapped, with just 35% of workers having money left over for savings and discretionary spending once bills are paid, down from 40% last year and also short of the global percentage of 38%.

Nearly one in ten now work in multiple jobs, with the majority doing so because they need additional income.

The economic squeeze is also driving up pay demands, with 38% of Irish workers planning to ask for a pay rise, up from 32% last year.

Speaking on the survey, Director at PWC Ireland, Laoise Mullane said, “With the ongoing high living costs, we see a workforce that wants to be fairly rewarded, along with more meaning from their work.

“In the current environment, where skills gaps appear to be widening, efforts to retain talent are failing, and more employees than ever are financially struggling — the power of the workforce and culture becomes more important than ever.”

In addition to rising financial pressure, less than half of Irish employees said that they find their job fulfilling with only one in two reporting that they can truly be themselves at work.

At the same time, just 42% Irish workers agreed that their manager considers their viewpoint when making decisions. Less than half said that their manager is open and transparent about the decisions they make with less than six out of ten feeling that their manager treats them and their colleagues fairly and equitably.

“Having a diverse range of talented employees brings the potential for great innovation to an organisation. This requires a culture that fosters creativity and supports failure in the pursuit of success,” Ms Mullane continued.

AI advances

As technology improves, the survey found that just 29% of workers do not think AI will impact their job over the next five years, with one in ten saying that AI will replace their role altogether in the same time.

“In a world where generative AI is here, business leaders have a way to go to increase the awareness and understanding of the impact transformative technologies will have on their workforce,” said Gerard McDonough, Partner at PwC Ireland.

“Where business leaders know they need to transform their businesses to succeed, they need to combine the benefits of technology with a plan to unlock the talents of all workers.”


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