The State of the Hourly Workforce 2024: Key Insights

June 13, 2024

by Kristin Brennan

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The 2024 State of the Hourly Workforce Report paints a concerning picture for businesses, especially when it comes to younger workers, and highlights the growing threat of unionization in response to widespread dissatisfaction. Nearly one-third (29%) of hourly employees surveyed expressed a desire for unionization, and 50% of hourly employees said they are very likely to leave their jobs within the next year. A staggering 76% of those planning to depart are aged 18-24.

Key Findings

Employee Dissatisfaction, Retention Challenges, and Unionization Threat

  • Just under half of hourly employees feel their employers care about creating a good work environment, with 41% reporting their employers made no significant improvements in their workplace over the past year.
  • Dissatisfaction with the employee experience is driving interest in unionization, with 27% of employees wishing there had been a unionization effort in the past year to address issues like low wages and poor work-life balance.

What Matters Most to Hourly Employees

  • Employees value relationships with their peers, having schedule flexibility, and want to enjoy the work they do.
  • The top items that would persuade them to take a new hourly job include greater schedule flexibility and control, more recognition, and the ability to get paid early. The ability to get paid early is especially critical for Gen Z and Millennial employees.

Managers are Struggling with Administrative Tasks

  • Managers are overwhelmed with administrative tasks, leaving less time for coaching, team development, and customer interaction. As a result, less than half (47%) of managers feel they have enough time for these parts of their job they find enjoyable.

Technology and Automation

  • Employers have a significant opportunity to improve work experiences through AI and automation. Automation alleviates the burden of mundane and time-consuming tasks, enabling individuals to concentrate on these valuable aspects of their work and focus on the human side of work, such as building relationships with coworkers, receiving mentorship and coaching, and embracing the organizational culture.


Employers must embrace intelligent, automated, employee-centric workforce management to enhance the work experience for both hourly workers and managers. By doing so, they can reduce the threat of unionization, improve retention rates, boost morale, and create competitive advantages. The 2024 study highlights the urgent need for a shift towards focusing on the human side of work, driven by the adoption of AI and automation technologies.

Download the report “2024 State of the Hourly Workforce,” to read all the details.

Interested in learning more? Contact us to talk about how Legion can help you transform labor operations and deliver a better employee experience through intelligent automation powered by Legion WFM.