“It’s a job seeker’s market.” It’s the phrase continually thrown around to describe today’s economy, but how does it translate into action for you, the job seeker? How confident should you actually be in leaving your previous job in search of a new role? Have no fear — Glassdoor Chief Economist, Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, weighs in on the most talked-about trends in employment and why now is the opportune time to start your new job search.
Recent statistics from the Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOTS), released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics – reveal that job seekers are leaving their employers en masse. Numbers from June show that 3.4 million Americans quit their jobs that month – the highest “quits rate” since 2001.
According to Chamberlain, job seekers know they’ll find a wealth of employment opportunities upon ditching their old gig. “Skilled workers are having their telephones ring, and it’s recruiters on the other end, offering them positions,” explained Chamberlain to the radio show Marketplace. “That sort of poaching activity, that shows up in the JOLTS report, with more people quitting.”
Indeed, the most recent JOLTS report show that there were 6.66 million job openings in June, with a perfect ratio of unemployed persons per job opening (1:1). Unemployment rates in the US have hovered below 4 percent since April– the lowest since December 2000. According to Chamberlain, the top sectors seeing growing labor shortages include tech, skilled trades, and healthcare. The lack of job candidates in these sectors could also give workers more negotiating power in salary discussions, he added.
In tighter labor markets, traditionally it’s the employer who has the upper hand, whittling through hundreds of job applications to pick the one lucky candidate. We’ve often heard stories of potential employers “ghosting” candidates, going silent after the initial interview without providing news of the candidate’s status. But in today’s labor market, there have been increasing reports of candidates ghosting their interviews – or even their first day of work!
With so many open positions, it truly is a job seeker’s market. This puts companies in a race to attract – and hire – top talent. That’s one of the reasons why employers are using incentives like signing bonuses, unlimited vacation and generous work-from-home options to lure talent away from their current positions.
It also means that if your boss keeps putting you down, if you didn’t get the promotion you were angling for or you have the nagging feeling you’re underpaid for your talent – it might be the time to step out into the job market again, and see what new opportunities are available to you.