Cost of living concerns

Cost-of-living crisis expected to spark the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2023

  • 19% of employees expect to have to look for a new job with better benefits or a higher salary in 2023 — the equivalent of 5.4 million workers1
  • 16% (4.5 million) are considering taking a second job next year to make ends meet
  • 29% of employees state mental health concerns as one of their biggest worries in 2023
  • 35%, or almost 10 million workers, say their employer has not provided them with any cost-of-living support so far this year.

Research findings

New research commissioned by leading employee benefits provider Unum UK2 has revealed nearly a fifth of the UK workforce (19%) plan to look for new jobs next year with higher salaries or better employee benefits in light of the cost-of-living crisis.

The research also found that 16% expect to have to take on second jobs just to stay afloat. That’s 4.5 million workers seeking further employment outside their current employer at a time when UK job vacancies fell by 3.6% in August to October — the fourth consecutive fall according to the latest ONS data.3

Unum’s survey of employees’ biggest concerns captured many of the work/life adjustments that people are planning to make next year to cope with the rising cost of living. Despite inflation rising to 11.1% in the year to October,4 the survey also found that 35% of employees have had no cost-of-living support from their employer this year.

It’s no surprise that 60% of employees say managing financially with the cost-of-living crisis is one of their biggest concerns for next year. Work/life balance is the next concern (37%), followed by:

  • Dealing with debt/mortgage interest rate rises (33%)
  • Mental health concerns (29%)
  • General health concerns (27%)
  • Threat of war against the backdrop of the events in Ukraine (27%)

Many employees plan to counteract the rising cost of living by limiting or switching off their heating entirely (57%), reducing food bills (43%) and cancelling holidays (26%). Another 24% will be forced to use their savings.

Mark Till, CEO of Unum UK comments:

“There’s no doubt the outlook for 2023 will concern many people. Between employees planning to seek new jobs for better benefits or a higher salary and those saying they’ll look at the prospect of a second job, more than 10 million workers may make big employment decisions next year. It’s important for employers to understand these workers’ needs which include better employee benefits. Given employees’ concerns for next year, an employer with a benefits package that includes highly valued services such as 24/7 remote GP appointments and mental health support will be well positioned for recruitment and retention in 2023.”

1 Estimate based on 28.3 million employed workers in the 3 months to August 2022, Office for National Statistics
2 Unum commissioned Censuswide survey 30th September 2022 – 4th October 2022 amongst a nationally representative sample of 3,005 employed people
3 Vacancies and jobs in the UK: November 2022,
Office for National Statistics

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