— In the current job market, workers are in the driver’s seat. That means they are able to be more picky about what jobs they want and demand better working conditions.

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The latest numbers from the U.S. Labor Department show that 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in the month of August. Most of the people who quit were working in the hotel, dining or wholesale trade industries.

After Evan Bolden quit his job at a fast-food restaurant in Harnett County, he quickly found another.

“I couldn’t take it, having to pull double after double after double,” Bolden said. “It was atrocious.”

Bolden said that his workplace was made worse due to how little staff there were to go around. On top of that, the average pay for someone working in the fast food industry in North Carolina is $7 an hour, or only $14,578 a year.

The average price for rent in Raleigh costs around $1,500 each month, according to ApartmentList.com, which means minimum wage is not enough to pay for the cost of rent alone. While Harnett County is cheaper to live in than Raleigh, data shows that more than half of a minimum wage employee’s salary would go to rent alone.

With job openings plentiful, workers who felt unsafe or mistreated now feel empowered to leave.

“That’s exactly what happened with me,” Bolden said. “That’s why I’m at where I am right now. I get treated way better where I am, way better.”

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Because employers are desperate for help, workers could demand better pay, or go elsewhere to get it.

If the pandemic has proven anything, it has shown that many office jobs can be done at home, according to the employer agency Roth Staffing.

Ross Bowman, a senior staffing professional with Roth Staffing, said that employees are looking for flexibility. In a hot job market like the Triangle, employees have many options.

Companies that discourage their employees to work from home, for example, are not going to get as many new employees, according to Bowman.

“I’ve talked with probably a hundred people in the last few weeks, and the number one thing is flexibility,” he said. “Candidates are looking at that as a bigger value versus compensation and benefits. People are looking at the time they’re saving in terms of commuting.”

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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