More than half (51 per cent) of U.S. employees feel the expanding job market gives them more negotiating power – around higher salaries and better benefits – with their current employer or other employers.

The survey, by U.S. recruiting and staffing provider Spherion Staff Services, asked 2,810 working adults and 416 human resources managers for their opinions on workplace issues.

It found that 26 per cent of employee respondents were at least somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, up 18 per cent from last year. Employees continue to list financial compensation, benefits, and growth and earnings potential as top factors in influencing retention, according to the survey,

Read: Canadian employees more engaged than Americans: study

“The growing demands across the workforce for improved wages highlight that employees are no longer willing to settle for just any career opportunity,” said Spherion division president Sandy Mazur. “Not only are the job market and economy trending upward, but we are witnessing a major change in mentality with critical implications on employer-employee relationships.

“While salary has significantly influenced employee decisions throughout the first 19 years of the [Emerging Workforce Study], we’ve never before seen workers this motivated to improve their situation.”

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Among employer respondents, the survey found 74 per cent of U.S. companies have increased wages to remain competitive, with 73 per cent reporting they’ve seen competitors raise wages. However, the study also found that while 62 per cent of organizations saw a need to pay higher wages, they couldn’t afford to do so.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of employer respondents have replaced more than a fifth of their workforce in the last 12 months, which Spherion attributes to the disconnect between employer and employee perspectives.

“Not surprisingly, the EWS found that employers and employees share differing views on the factors influencing retention,” said the study. “While employees prioritize financial compensation in their decisions, employers believe workers value more personal influencers, such as supervisor relationships.”

Read: Half of Canadians are unhappy with their jobs: survey

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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