If you’ve been looking for a new job or hoping to negotiate a higher salary, the odds are currently in your favor; There were almost as many jobs advertised in March as there were unemployed people, nearly a job for every unemployed person.
In March, US employers advertised 6.55 million open jobs, according to the Chicago Tribune. (That’s the largest number of job openings since December of 2000.) At the same time, there were 6.59 million unemployed people.
This is a problem… for employers. But it’s a benefit for job seekers. If you’re looking to change jobs, organizations or careers, or even if you just want to negotiate a higher salary from your current employer, right now might be “about as good as it gets”, according to the Tribune.
Now Hiring: Everyone
In July of 2009, just after the Great Recession, there were almost seven job seekers for every open job, a ratio of about 7:1. In March of this year, that ratio was almost 1:1, meaning there was an open job for almost every unemployed person.
Beyond the fact that a large number of jobs were available in March, the Labor Department reported that more workers voluntarily quit their jobs that month, reported Reuters. In fact, according to the Tribune, the number of people quitting their jobs has increased 6.4 percent in the past year. This is a sign that workers have confidence in a strong labor market, and that they’ll be able to find a new job.
Time for Employers to Pony Up
Despite the strong labor market, lack of employee options and an increasing number of workers jumping ship, employers have been able to avoid raising salaries in any meaningful way. So far. Economists believe the shortage of available workers will finally help to push up wage growth this year.
Despite the strong labor market, lack of employee options and an increasing number of workers jumping ship, employers have been able to avoid raising salaries. So far. The shortage of workers is expected to finally help wage growth this year.
“The April jobs report revealed that wage growth remains tepid, rising just 2.6 percent from a year earlier,” reported Bloomberg.
According to the Tribune, “The last time the jobless rate fell below 4 percent, average wages were rising at a much healthier 4.5 percent annual rate.”
Change may be on the way.
“Seems like a good environment for workers facing stagnating real wage growth to start looking for greener pastures, forcing firms to boost compensation more aggressively to attract and retain employees,” said Tim Duy of Bloomberg.
Now’s the Time for Salary Negotiation
If you’re hoping to take advantage of the current employee’s market, and you’re planning to negotiate salary for a new job – or with your current employer – take note of the tips and tricks in PayScale’s Salary Negotiation Guide.
Given organizations are struggling to find qualified applicants, and given the competition for those applicants is predicted to become fierce in the not-too-distant future, when it comes to negotiating a higher salary, now might be “about as good as it gets”.
Tell Us What You Think
Are you planning to find a new job in the near future, given the strong labor market? We want to hear about it! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.