DES MOINES, Iowa – One in four U.S. workers are considering a job change or retirement in the next 12 to 18 months, according to a new survey by Principal Financial Group.

The report surveyed more than 1,800 U.S. residents about their future work plans, and it found that 12% of workers are looking to change jobs, 11% plan to retire or leave the workforce and 11% are on the fence about staying in their jobs. That means 34% of workers are uncommitted in their current role. Employers echoed the findings, with 81% concerned about increased competition for talent.

Workers said their top motives in considering a job change were increased pay (60%), feeling undervalued in their current role (59%), career advancement (36%), more workplace benefits (25%) and hybrid work arrangements (23%).

“The survey shows a clear picture of a labor market still in flux in large part due to shifting habits and preferences brought on by the pandemic,” said Sri Reddy, senior vice president of Retirement and Income Solutions at Principal.

The labor shortage is a growing issue. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Openings and Labor Turnover survey showed that 4.3 million Americans quit their job in August. There’s no evidence this number will decrease in the coming months.

Regardless of what’s causing the so-called Great Resignation, it’s clear the pendulum has swung hard in favor of the employee. Workers know employers are desperate to keep them. It’s an employee’s market, and this gives them extra bargaining power over their bosses and companies that want to hire them. Workers are demanding more pay, more flexibility, better benefits and a better working environment.

Employers are being forced to adjust in order to meet these demands. Not only are companies feeling the need to raise pay and increase benefits, some are going back to the drawing board completely – overhauling recruitment and retention strategies from the ground up.