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Pay Me More or I Quit: Workers Play Risky Game With Their Bosses

More than 60% of Americans say using a job offer from another company for the sole purpose of receiving a salary increase is an ethical practice.

Trevor Hay in Richland, Washington, on Feb. 3.

Trevor Hay in Richland, Washington, on Feb. 3.

Photographer: Chona Kasinger/Bloomberg

Half of America’s workers are ready to pile pressure on their employers.

They’ve spent the past two years heeding their bosses’ — and the pandemic’s — unprecedented demands. They’ve watched products disappear from shelves, inflation surge and their paychecks’ purchasing power shrink. All the while, wages have been rising and big banks have been boosting top executives’ pay by millions of dollars. The American economy just defied expectations, adding 467,000 jobs in January — far above estimates of 125,000.