Washington, DC – In a new survey, employers want to pay a $20 per hour wage to all new workers and to offer an annual benefit package of up to $3,000 per employee.
The survey by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) found that over 1 in 3 US workers said they would accept a raise to $20 an hour or pay a higher hourly rate.
The survey also found that the vast majority of employers surveyed said they wanted to increase their hourly pay to $10 an hour by 2022.
NELP director Paul Sperry said the survey highlights a fundamental problem with the current system of wage and hour laws in the US: employers are unwilling to pay their employees more than they are entitled to.
“It is a system that allows companies to avoid paying employees for years on end without making it clear what the compensation is going to be,” Spery said.
“If they’re not prepared to pay it, they can’t have any other workers, and they can easily become too powerful in the workplace.”
The survey asked the public about the pay scales they expected to see in the future, and whether they expected an increase to minimum wage laws and a change to the overtime rules to apply to them.
Almost one in three of those surveyed said that they expect to see minimum wage and overtime pay increased to $15 an hour in 2022.
The number who expected an annual minimum wage increase to $25 per hour jumped to more than one in four.
“This survey provides further evidence of how pervasive the wage and working conditions crisis in the United States is, and how our laws are not designed to protect workers from this situation,” Soper said.
The most common response from workers was that they expected minimum wage to increase to at least $15 by 2022, while a third expected it to rise to $21.50 an hour.
Nearly two in three said they expected the federal minimum wage will rise to at or above $20 by 2022 and a third thought it would be $21 an hour over the next two years.
The biggest challenge employers face in keeping up with workers in the 21st century is the fact that workers have been unable to keep up with the pace of technological changes.
The cost of automation and the cost of healthcare are also making it more difficult for employers to keep pace.
The NELPS survey was conducted in April and May of this year and included 1,072 respondents from more than 1,800 US firms.
It is a nationwide, telephone survey of more than 13,000 US employees, and NELPs survey manager David Shuster said he is hopeful that it will lead to a more robust wage and benefits debate.
“In order to make sure we get this conversation right, we have to take the survey at face value,” Shuster told Al Jazeera.
“I don’t want people to think this is just an issue of employers not being able to afford to pay employees.”
The findings are the latest in a series of surveys by NELS that show employers are struggling to keep their workforce in line.
In the first survey in April, 77% of employers said they were struggling to attract and retain employees.
More recently, the survey found that 70% of US employers said their workers were being underemployed.
Shuster said that the survey findings showed that there is a clear disconnect between the level of demand in the economy and the level in the workforce.
“I think the reason that employers are still struggling to retain their employees is because they’re finding it difficult to pay them the right wage and benefit packages,” Shimmer said.
“Employers are trying to do everything they can to attract the best and brightest workers, but that’s not happening.
That’s one of the main reasons employers are not paying their workers what they are supposed to be paid.”
The number of jobs that have been created by new technology, in particular software, is also a major driver of the pay gap.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the number of full-time jobs has risen by more than 15 million since the recession began in 2007.
The unemployment rate for all workers under 25 years of age is now 7.4%, higher than it was a year ago.
The majority of jobs in the technology industry have been filled by computer programmers and programmers in particular have experienced a steady increase in wages, with the average annual wage rising from $8.27 per hour in 2013 to $8,639 in 2019.
“The problem is that the jobs that are created are not good jobs,” Shaffer said.