Fintech Branch, the Workforce Payments Platform, Shares Findings from Hourly Workers Report

Branch, the workforce payments platform, released findings from the fifth annual Branch Report, which “surveys over 3,000 hourly workers across industries about their work, finances, and lifestyle.”

Findings from the update shared by Branch, shared with CI, reveal that “despite low economic optimism, hourly workers are confident in their job prospects, even when it comes to the rise of AI.”

While 45% have a negative perception of the economy, the majority are “not only optimistic about their ability to switch jobs easily or grow in their current position (51%), but also unconcerned about the impact AI might have on their work (56%). More than half (53%) have expressed interest in experimenting with AI tools.”

Although confident in their job prospects, “more hourly workers are reluctant to switch roles, preferring to seek higher wages, a sense of stability, and flexibility from their current employers instead. Even with the high number of open roles available, 56% of respondents do not have plans to switch jobs, and only 22% are either open to switching or actively looking.”

When asked what they want most “from their workplace, higher wages (77%) and a stable, predictable work schedule (56%) remained top of mind, with the former experiencing a 4% uptick from last year.”

Flexibility is Paramount, Particularly for Parents

Especially in the gig economy era, greater flexibility and control “over when they worked (39%) rounded out the top three elements workers want from their jobs—overtaking last year’s third top pick, a positive work culture (36%).”

Flexibility also plays a key role “for hourly workers with children, with 57% of respondents reporting that reliable childcare impacts their ability to work or pick up more hours.”

For Gen Z and Millennials, this statistic “increases to 66%, with 39% noting it greatly impacts their ability.”

Atif Siddiqi, Founder and CEO of Branch, said:

“Over the course of the Branch Report, flexibility has become increasingly important to attract and retain hourly workers. As the workforce continues to welcome new generations, this need is only going to grow, whether that’s offering flexibility in how they pick up work or receive their earnings.”

As costs continue to rise, hourly workers “cite home/rent affordability as their top financial concern (62%), while over 70% reported that their home costs have increased in the past year. Groceries were their second highest financial concern (56%) and the top expense impacted by inflation (84%).”

Because of these challenges, 90% of respondents “say receiving pay before their official payday is helpful. To support additional costs from the impending holiday season, over 80% are planning to pick up more work. Most will plan to pick up hours at their current job (62%), with another part-time job (49%), or gig/freelance work (38%).”

Creating an emergency fund is “an understandably crucial goal given the state of hourly workers’ emergency savings. On par with last year, 83% have less than $500 saved for an emergency, with 50% having $0 saved.”

But some generations are further ahead than others.

Saving at similar rates “as the Baby Boomers, Gen Z had “more emergency savings compared to their Millennial and Gen X counterparts: 63% of Gen Z hourly workers had some sort of emergency savings compared to Millennials and Gen X (45%). Gen Z only had 37% with $0 saved, compared to Millennials and Gen X, with 55% of respondents of those generations having $0 saved.”

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