An increasing number of workers are devoting time to salary research, a new survey shows, but just half feel they’re paid enough.
And 54% of workers (61% of men and 49% of women) say they swap salary information with coworkers, with workers aged 18 to 34 far more likely than their older counterparts to do so, according to the survey released Wednesday by the global staffing firm Robert Half.
What’s more, 45% of those surveyed said they have used this information to their advantage. Twenty-eight percent of employees have leveraged that intel to ask for a pay raise, according to the survey, while 17% have used it during job-offer negotiations.
Some 46% of workers feel they’re underpaid, the survey added, including 50% of women and 41% of men. (Women make an average of 80 cents on a man’s dollar; women of color often make even less.) Another 47% think they receive fair pay, while 7% feel overpaid. A potential factor in some workers’ dissatisfaction: More employees are doing the legwork to see if they’re being paid their worth.
While about eight in 10 workers feel they know what they’re worth, 73% (80% of men and 65% of women) report having compared their salaries to market rates over the past year, a nearly 20-point increase from respondents surveyed two years earlier.
Using an outside research firm, Robert Half surveyed more than 1,000 office workers across the U.S. and 2,800 office workers in 28 major American cities.
The U.S. median household income in 2017 was $61,372, the Census Bureau announced last September, a 1.8% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, millennials’ (aged 22 to 37) median household income in 2017 was $69,000, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. The unemployment rate currently sits at 3.7%, a nearly 50-year low.
“Workers have more access to information about their salaries, roles and career options than ever before, arming them for conversations with current and potential employers,” Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald said in a statement. “In a stronger economy, top performers have options, but they’re more likely to stay put if they feel they’re getting paid fairly.”