SALARIES / AUG. 05, 2014
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Full-Time Workers Struggle to Stay Above Water

You work hard, very hard for a reasonable salary that almost covers your monthly bills. It’s a good thing you learned how to save money and create a budget. And that you purchased new software that tracks your monthly spending habits. You also started opting for cash instead of credit cards so you can avoid debt and keep track of your spending. But despite all of your efforts, you are still having a difficult time making ends meet.

With all of the recent reports that the economy is improving, you may be wondering whether or not it’s time to start looking for another job. After all, a new position at a new company might offer you a much-needed salary increase. And the stress of covering your bills is becoming too much to handle. However, you are still a bit nervous about leaving a stable company with a secure position for another one without any guarantees. Well, you are not alone.

Staying Afloat

The thought of quitting your job may have crossed your mind a lot lately. And the idea generally surfaces around the first of the month when you start to pay your bills. There’s no wonder why you feel strained with the escalating costs of purchasing everything from clothes to food. According to USAToday, the cost to fill a refrigerator has risen to over three percent in 2014, which is “squeezing consumers still struggling with modest wage gains”. Other factors such as underwater mortgages, rising gas prices, and inflated heating and cooling costs are landing many workers in the poor house. That’s why the Huffington Post interviewed some hard-working Americans who are now among the poor. What they found was alarming:

“Many struggle to secure full-time employment and scramble to find extra work in their spare time. Others make just above the minimum wage and still can barely scrape by,” said Dave JamiesonHuffington Post reporter. “They eat what they can afford, rather than what they want.”

According to Jamieson, people are now sacrificing necessities such as doctor visits for conditions that need attention and hot water for bathing and cooking because they simply cannot afford them. In other words, your stable full-time job with the modest salary may not offer you any assurances either. According to a U.S. Census Bureau 2012 report, there were over 45 million Americans in poverty; more than one in 10 worked full-time jobs. So if you are not earning enough money to live, maybe it is time to find a new job.

Jumping Ship

Like you, many struggling workers are considering diving into a market, which at best, is just slugging along. Fed up with fighting their current employers for a fair wage, over 2 million workers actually took the gamble—with just a little hope—and moved on to other companies, says Bloomberg News. But taking such a risk in an unstable economy may prove to be a bit premature.

"There are pockets where the control is starting to shift from the employer to the worker," Chief Executive Officer for Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a human-resources consulting company, John Challenger told Bloomberg News. "They don’t want people to jump ship and vote with their feet."

In other words, it may be a good idea to wait and see how things go. If someone quits, you may be the next employee in line for a raise. In the meantime, keep looking for other opportunities. Maybe, you will find a better job with more room to maneuver and improve the quality of your life.

References:

Rising food prices bite into household budgets

More Than 1 In 10 Americans Who Work Full Time Are Still Poor

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012

Higher wages signaled by more U.S. employees quitting

A shrinking slice

Image SourceMarketing on a tiny Budget

 

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