home Customer Experience, News Extra Shifts, New Jobs, and Cutting Costs – How People in Australia are Tackling the Rising Cost of Living

Extra Shifts, New Jobs, and Cutting Costs – How People in Australia are Tackling the Rising Cost of Living

Workers in Australia are looking for new jobs, asking for extra shifts, and switching to cheaper brands as everyday expenses eat up a bigger chunk of their paychecks, new research from Qualtrics shows. 

Drawing on insights from 1,020 full- and part-time workers in Australia, the study revealed 51% of respondents say it is harder for them to pay their current living expenses compared to 12 months ago. A third of respondents (32%) said the current economic climate will impact their spending habits for more than a year1

With inflation in Australia expected to peak in the December quarter of 2022, the Qualtrics findings provide insight into some of the measures people across the country are adopting in response to the financial challenges faced. 

Increasing incomes and cutting expenses 

In efforts to increase their take-home pay, 59% of workers in Australia want the opportunity to work overtime or extra shifts, and 51% have or are planning to speak with their employer about their salary. Outside of their current job, 53% have looked or plan to look for jobs with higher salaries, and 49% have looked or plan to look for a second job – findings that mean around half of people living in Australia have considered holding multiple jobs or leaving their current one to pay for their living expenses. 

Faced with rising costs, people in Australia said they are spending less on discretionary items and activities, such as dining out (51% are spending less), food delivery (49%) retail and entertainment (47%), and travel (41%). Many respondents also said they have switched to cheaper brands for staple and essential products (44%), and discretionary items (32%) in the past 6 months. Price (76%) is the factor most influencing purchasing decisions right now, followed by product quality (60%), convenience (31%), and brand reputation (26%). 

“In the current macroeconomic environment, knowing what matters most to employees and customers is mission critical for every organisation. By understanding peoples’ needs, businesses and governments can deliver products, services, and support that positively impacts the people they serve, which will ultimately help them find and keep customers, attract and retain talent, and mitigate risk,” said Dr Crissa Sumner, Employee Experience Solution Strategist, Qualtrics. 

Working parents are especially strained 

Parents are feeling the pressure even more. Nearly two-thirds say they are planning or have looked for a new (61%) job or salary (61%), and 68% want overtime or extra shifts to increase their pay. Parents are also more likely to have considered a second job. 

 All respondents Respondents that are working parents Respondents that do not have children Working mothers Working fathers 
Have looked for a new, higher-paying job 53% 61% 44% 59% 62% 
Have spoken to my employer about salary 51% 61% 52% 53% 63% 
Have looked for a second job 49% 57% 40% 54% 59% 
Want overtime or extra shifts 59% 68% 50% 59% 72% 


This study was fielded in August-October 2022. Respondents were selected from a randomized panel and considered eligible if they live in Australia, are at least 18 years of age and working full-time. The total number of respondents was 1,020 respondents. 

[1] In the corresponding global study, Australia returned one of the smallest volumes of people saying it is harder for them to pay their living expenses compared to 12 months ago, compared to the US – 64%, Germany – 63%, France – 62%, and Singapore – 46%. A similar trend was seen in findings relating to people expecting their spending habits to be impacted for more than a year: US – 40%, Germany – 61%, France -51%, and Singapore – 31%.