Ah, the end of the year. A time of contemplation, self-reflection and often, a desire for transformation—especially in terms of your career. But this year, personal resolutions aren’t the only reason you should consider touching up your resume. According to our latest research report from Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, the current economic climate and labor market present a rare, almost unprecedented window of opportunity to find a new job—one that definitely won’t last forever.
So what exactly makes now the perfect time to jump into the job hunt? Well…
Hiring Is (Way) Up
In uncertain markets, companies tend to cut costs wherever possible, which often translates to a pullback in hiring. But with the economy on the up-and-up, hiring has been making a record comeback. Take a look at the numbers:
- The U.S. economy added 1.98 million new jobs in the first 11 months of this year, more than the entire 8 years of the Bush administration.
- In April, there were a record 5.85 million open jobs—enough to employ every person in LA, San Francisco and Seattle combined.
- As of November, we hit 74 months of consecutive job gains (an all-time record!)
Most of us can remember the dog days of the Great Recession, when open job positions wouldn’t appear on career sites no many how many times you clicked ‘refresh’. But now, all signs point to the fact that those days are over (at least for now).
The bottom line: If you haven’t scoured the job listings of your dream company in a year or two (or five—we won’t judge), it’s time to check back in. Odds are, you’ll find tons of new postings that weren’t there before.
[Related: The Best Places to Work in 2017]
Competition Has Died Down
In today’s booming job market, there are more open positions and fewer candidates seeking them:
- Unemployment is back down to pre-recession numbers (4.6%, as of November 2016)
- Economists believe we’ve crossed the threshold into full employment, when almost everyone who wants to work can do so
- Today, there are about 1.4 unemployed Americans for every 1 open job, vs. a ratio of 6.6 to 1 in July 2009
And those jobs are staying open for longer, too. While the average job went unfilled for 19.1 days in 2001 to 2003, jobs today are taking about 28.1 days to be filled. And as open jobs pile up, employers are starting to feel the heat.
The bottom line: With fewer folks out of work, you won’t find as many candidates fighting over the same position — meaning your odds of scoring the new job you want are better than ever, especially as companies push to close the loop on open positions more quickly.
[Related: Unemployed? Here Are 5 Things You Should Do]
Paychecks Are Getting Fatter
This holiday season, your waistline isn’t the only thing expanding. While previously, the gains in the economy were largely ending up in the pockets of the already well-to-do, everyday Americans are starting to see the payoff as well:
- October 2016 wages were up 2.8 percent from the previous year
- Median household incomes rose 5.2% last year
- In November, median base pay for U.S. workers grew at a faster pace than it had in three years
And in the last year, there were several policy initiatives designed to keep the good times rolling for workers, including Obama’s proposal to require that employers release salary information by gender, race and ethnicity and new rules from the SEC mandating that publicly traded companies disclose the ratio of their CEOs’ salary compared to the average workers’.
Ultimately, this trifecta of economic factors indicates that the time is ripe for you to apply to that new job you’ve been eyeing. But make sure to act fast — given the up-and-down nature of the economy, these favorable conditions could end just as quickly as they began.