🔴 The economy remains a top concern for workers in 2023, Robert Half says

🔴 Professionals don't seem to be worried about job security

🔴 Tips for companies looking to keep workers

As 2023 continues to unfold, workers across New Jersey have new worries and priorities that are top of mind.

Research from Robert Half reveals that the economy is the top concern among professionals surveyed.

— 81% are worried about rising prices and interest rates.

— 76% are concerned about wider economic changes.

— Only 44% are concerned about finding a new job and 42% fret over job security.

Health and safety was the second biggest concern among workers in 2023. 46% fear COVID-19 transmission from in-person work requirements.

The third biggest concern was work flexibility. 44% worry about losing the ability to work where and when they want.

Why are workers not very concerned about job security?

Richard Singer, Director of Permanent Placement Services for Robert Half’s Central Jersey region said there is a shortage of skilled workers in the United States. He said last month about 10 million jobs in the U.S. went unfilled because of a lack of skill set.

About 9% fewer students are going into accounting, according to Wall Street Journal Dec. 28, 2022 article. Therefore, there is a shortage of accountants, Singer said.

It takes 150 credit hours now to be a CPA and other factors such as additional workload, taxes, and bureaucratic changes in the profession make it a tougher major, Singer said.

There’s just a lack of skill set for a lot of these positions in finance, accounting, technology, and health care, he added.

Candidates are not as concerned about losing their jobs because they’ve been getting calls from recruiters. There are so many opportunities out there for skilled workers, plus there is a demand for blue-collar workers in all positions, Singer said.

Photo Credit: Robert Half
Photo Credit: Robert Half

What are the top priorities among employees for 2023?

Professionals want to try to keep up with inflation or try to get ahead of it but most aren’t, Singer said. 71% of workers want to see their salary increase by the end of 2023. Beyond pay, perks and benefits, workers today most value job stability and work flexibility.

What can employers and companies do to keep workers happy?

In today’s tight talent market, employers continue to face hiring and retention challenges. Understanding workers’ concerns and priorities and offering support and resources to meet their needs, can improve recruitment efforts and reduce turnover, according to the report.

The key is to be flexible, Singer said. A lot of the flexibility stems from a hybrid environment. Many workers don’t want to work in an office five days a week. He said there are not a lot of full-time remote jobs now that COVID has waned but there is still concern about working in an office environment and being close to strangers.

“I would say 60% or two-thirds of employers have some type of hybrid or maybe one day a week or two days a week where they can work from home or if not, they’re offering some type of flexibility in terms of hours and creating a more positive company culture,” Singer said.

It’s important for companies to work with their valued employees, find out their concerns, try to be flexible, and meet their needs as much as they can, he said.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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