The job market is beginning to show signs of cooling, according to June data released by the U.S. Department of Labor. Along with that, the HPS-CivicScience ESI (Economic Sentiment Index) continues its week-over-week decline in Americans’ outlook for finding a new job.
However, despite inflation, it’s not all negative. Current survey data indicate that sentiment related to household income is improving from June’s extreme low point, when 30% of U.S. adults reported they felt unsatisfied with their household income. Now nearly half-way through July, those who feel dissatisfied with their income have fallen back to 28% and income satisfaction rebounded slightly to 46%.
CivicScience tracking also shows that even though the percentage of Americans’ who report they feel financially worse off now than before the pandemic has risen dramatically since March of this year, that rapid rate of growth appears to be slowing, possibly nearing a saturation point of 35% for the time being.
Likewise, expectations for income are rising once again, as a growing percentage of Americans anticipate their income will be higher six months from now.
A look at current employment situation finds that those working at a physical office or location are the most likely overall to feel satisfied with their income, more so than those working remotely. However, they are also the most likely to feel dissatisfied as well, likely accounting for a greater number of lower-paying service industry jobs.
Income-wise, naturally the more you earn the more likely you are to feel satisfied with your income. The data clearly show that half of those earning between $50L to $100K and the majority of those earning less than $50K per year (those brackets comprising the majority of households) don’t report feeling satisfied with their income, which is far below $100K+ households.
Men lead on income satisfaction, and women are more likely to say they are not satisfied with their income levels by a difference of six percentage points. However, feelings about household income have improved recently across both genders.
Finally, job happiness also appears to be on the up and up. More than 70% of employed adults report feeling at least somewhat happy in their current position.
What could account for this slight reprieve? Reported increasing earnings may be helping Americans to better contend with inflation, which also has the Federal Reserve on close watch for future interest rate hikes. CivicScience will continue to monitor whether the tug-of-war between earnings and inflation will send income satisfaction and outlook downward again. For now, the data suggest that Americans are at least feeling a bit of a break.