Key Findings

  • The proportion of Australian workers ranking the economy as ‘secure’ drops to record low of just 15 per cent; down from 30 per cent in Q1 2021
  • Cost of living pressures hit workers as almost fifth of workers (19%) say they aren’t working enough hours to make ends meet
  • Burn out hits highest levels on record at 46 per cent; up from 34 per cent in Q1 2021
  • A third of workers expect they’ll leave their current employer within the next 18 months
  • 74 per cent of Australian workers support businesses taking a firm stance on matters of public importance

Sydney, Australia 20 April 2022: Australian workers feel the economy is less secure now than it was a year ago as perceptions of Australia’s economic security fall to record lows.

With the federal election looming, the latest ELMO Employee Sentiment Index has found just 15 per cent of Australian workers consider the economy as secure; the smallest proportion of workers recorded to date. This is down from 20 per cent in Q4 of 2021 and down from 30 per cent of workers in the prior comparable period of Q1 2021.

Cost of living pressures are also impacting Australian workers with almost a fifth of workers (19%) stating they are not working enough hours to meet their cost of living needs. This is up from 17 per cent in the first quarter of 2021.

Despite a growing proportion of Australians being unable to make ends meet, Australian workers are continuing to work the same average number of hours per week as they were last year (33.1hrs in Q1 2021; 33.1hrs in Q1 2022).

Workers are also feeling less secure in their jobs than they were a year ago. Half of workers (50%) currently rate their job as secure compared to 55 per cent in the first quarter of 2021. The current rate is a slight increase from 49 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021.

However, it seems global conflicts may be contributing to the declining perceptions of economic security. Almost four fifths of Australian workers (78%) believe global conflict will negatively impact economic security. Workers are also worried about the impact of conflict on their job security with 44 per cent of workers concerned that global conflict will negatively impact their job security.

Meanwhile the proportion of workers feeling burnt out has continued to rise quarter-on-quarter to 46 per cent. This is up substantially from the first quarter of 2021 where just 34 per cent of workers reported feeling burnt out.

A contributing factor to the climbing burn out rates may be the increased work volumes of working Australians and the growing number of workers who feel overwhelmed in their jobs. A third (32%) of workers felt overwhelmed with the amount of work they had to do while almost a quarter (24%) said they had taken on more responsibility at work.

The insights into plummeting economic security and rapidly rising burn out rates are the latest findings of the ELMO Employee Sentiment Index. The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index is commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by independent research firm Lonergan Research each quarter among more than 1,000 geographically dispersed working Australians. The poll data is weighted to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

There is still troubling news for employers hoping the worst of the ‘Great Resignation’ is behind them with 44 per cent of Australian workers still planning to actively search for a new job this year – an increase from 43 per cent last quarter.

Australian employers should expect more resignations and career changes as a third (34%) of Australian workers believe they’ll only stay with their current company for up to 18 months.  Slightly more than one in five (22%) say they will stay up to 12 months, and eight percent anticipate they’ll leave within six months.

ELMO Software CEO Danny Lessem says the latest ELMO Employee Sentiment Index highlights that there are some considerable challenges facing Australian workers and businesses.

“The latest ELMO Employee Sentiment Index has uncovered just how Australian workers are feeling about the state of the economy, with some useful insights for our major political parties as they prepare for the federal election.

“Working Australians feel the economy is less secure now than they did a year ago. Workers need to feel the economy is secure if they are going to spend their money instead of saving it away for a rainy day.

“This poor perceived economic security may be contributing to the burn out rate climbing to 46 per cent of workers from just 34 per cent a year prior. This is a big challenge for employers as burnt out workers are not productive workers.

“The findings in the latest Employee Sentiment Index are a reminder that the workplace of tomorrow is very different to the workplace of today. Employers need to adapt to the needs of their workforce if they are going to remain competitive.

“Employers aren’t likely to experience any reprieve from the pressures of the Great Resignation. More than two fifths of Australian workers (44%) say they plan to actively search for a new job this year.”

Media Enquiries

Note: Demographic comparisons per question are available upon request

Mick Gibb | Communications & Media Manager
+61 423 149 494 |[email protected]

About the ELMO Employee Sentiment Index

The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index is a quarterly study which examines the attitudes, actions and concerns of Australians in the workplace. The research questions ask respondents to both reflect on the past quarter as well as anticipate the months ahead. The report is completed each quarter to provide a rolling index of Australian workers attitudes and behaviours over time.


The ELMO Employee Sentiment Report was  initiated to gain data and insights into the  attitudes, actions and concerns of employees. Respondents were asked to reflect on the three-month period between January 2022 to March 2022. The research was commissioned by ELMO  Software and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,016 Australian  workers aged 18 years and over between 11  March 2022 and 31 March 2022. The research  was conducted through a 14-question online survey. Respondents were members of a  permission-based panel, geographically dispersed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. After surveying, data was weighted to the  latest population estimates sourced from the  Australian Bureau of Statistics.

About ELMO Software

Established in 2002, ELMO is a cloud-based HR, payroll, expense management and rostering / time & attendance software provider. The company offers customers across Australia, New Zealand and the UK a unified platform to help organisations streamline their people, process and pay. ELMO operates on a software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) business model based on recurrent subscription revenues.  For more information, please visit

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