Amid the ongoing heightened competition for workers and growing concerns around high inflation, wage growth is heating up as job seekers ready themselves for big gains. This study examines how salary expectations among job seekers have changed since 2018. Leveraging millions of salaries and job listings shared on Glassdoor, we estimate how much more money job seekers in the United States expect in their new job.
- Key takeaway. The percentage of job seekers willing to be paid less than what they are currently making is the lowest it’s been in five years. On average, job seekers are expecting to make 34 percent (or $9,253) more than their current salary, exceeding pre-pandemic expectations, as an increasingly competitive job market has encouraged employees to speak out and demand higher pay.
- Salary expectations are rising. The salary job seekers expect when looking for a new role has increased 43 percent from first-quarter 2021 to first-quarter 2022 as the economy continues its recovery from the pandemic and concerns around high turnover and inflation push job seekers to demand higher pay.
- Career pivoting during the pandemic. Job seekers transitioning into a different role expect $6,894 more than those transitioning into a role similar to their previous position. Pivoting into a new career is one important way job seekers have sought out higher pay, even during the pandemic.
- Where job seekers expect to earn the most. Expected salary increases are largest in the consumer services sector, which include industries like restaurants, bars & food services and retail, where job seeker leverage has accelerated amidst an increasingly vocal workforce in a tight labor market.
- How much should job seekers ask for when looking for a new job? A rule-of-thumb often used when negotiating a salary is to ask for 10 to 20 percent above your current salary. Our research shows that when looking for a new role, job seekers today click on jobs that pay 34 percent more than their current salary on average.