Lillington, NC – In the current labor market, workers sit in the driver’s seat. This means that they can be more selective about their job preferences and demand better working conditions.
The latest figures from the US Department of Labor said 4.3 million Americans left their jobs as of August. Most of the dropouts worked in the hotel, catering or wholesale business.
After Evan Bolden quit his job at a Harnett County fast food restaurant, he quickly found someone else.
“I couldn’t stand it, I had to draw one pair at a time,” said Bolden. “It was horrible.”
Bolden said that his job was made worse by his lack of staff. Additionally, the average wage for someone working in the North Carolina fast food industry is $ 7 an hour, or just $ 14,578 a year.
The average rental price in Raleigh is around $ 1,500 each month, according to ApartmentList.com, which means the minimum wage is not enough to pay the rental cost on its own. While Harnett County is cheaper to live than Raleigh, data shows that more than half the wage of a minimum wage worker would go toward rent.
Given the plethora of job vacancies, workers who felt unsafe or badly treated now felt empowered to leave.
“That’s exactly what happened to me,” said Bolden. “That’s why I’m where I am right now. I’m treated much better where I am, much better.”
As employers desperately seek help, workers could ask for better pay or go elsewhere to get it.
If the pandemic has proven anything, it has been shown that many office jobs can be done from home, according to the Roth Staffing recruitment agency.
Ross Bowman, Senior Staffing Professional at Roth Staffing, said employees are looking for flexibility. In a hot job market like the triangle, employees have many options.
For example, companies that prevent their employees from working from home will not get as many new employees, according to Bowman.
“I’ve spoken to probably a hundred people in the past few weeks and the most important thing is flexibility,” he said. “Candidates see this as greater value than compensation and benefits. People look at the time they save commuting.”