How long will this spirited job market last?
Things are great now – but are changes looming?
the main points
- Currently, job opportunities are abundant and companies are eager to hire.
- Things can change quickly in the event of a recession.
- It might be a good idea to take advantage of the existing market and see if you can get a raise or even a new position.
For several months now, companies across a wide range of industries have been in dire need of hiring workers. Many have thrown extra money at the problem in the form of login bonuses and higher wages in an effort to solve their labor shortage issues.
But while today’s labor market conditions put workers and job seekers in a great position, we can’t expect things to stay that way forever. In fact, a number of economists have already begun to sound the alarm about an impending recession.
If one gets hit, it could force companies to pump the brakes on hiring for big time. This is something that workers and job seekers should be aware of.
NEW: A huge $300 bonus card hits the market
MORE: These Credit Cards Offered With 0% APR Made The Best On Our List
Is the job market about to calm down?
In August, the national unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage point to 3.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the number of unemployed individuals increased by 344 thousand to 6 million. This rise in the unemployment rate is not very large. But it is an increase nonetheless.
To be clear, though, the 3.7% unemployment rate isn’t shocking. It is similar to what the unemployment rate was before the pandemic. But if the unemployment rate continues to rise from month to month, it should serve as a potential warning sign to workers that the labor market is weakening.
Moreover, workers and job seekers should pay attention to the interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. They are designed to cool inflation by making borrowing more expensive.
If the cost of borrowing credit cards and personal loans increases, for example, consumers are more willing to start spending less, potentially narrowing the gap between supply and demand that has been fueling rampant inflation. But it could also lead to a complete economic recession, at which point employment could slow and existing jobs could be lost.
Of course, this is not the situation we are in today. So workers and job seekers should use today’s frenetic labor market to their advantage while they can.
How to take advantage of the strong job market
Whether you are an existing employee or looking for work, the reality is that at the moment, companies cannot afford to lose or give up talent. Thus you may be in a good position to negotiate a better salary and compensation.
To that end, do some research to find out what the average worker in your industry does. Then go out and fight for the salary you deserve. This could mean asking your current manager for a raise or asking for a higher salary than you were offered after a successful interview.
Also, if you are looking for a new job, feel free to ask for a login bonus. Even if that amount is modest, it can serve a number of major purposes, from stuffing your savings account to shrinking your existing credit card balance.
It is difficult to say how long a strong labor market will last today, and much will depend on the direction in which the overall economy is headed. But for now, workers and job seekers have the upper hand, and that’s something you might as well take advantage of while you can.