How the Economy Affects Employment in Today’s Job Market

economy and employment

The headlines are enough to give a reader whiplash: The U.S. economy has never been stronger, but many professionals aren’t seeing the difference in their bottom line. Unemployment rates are at historic lows, but people are also leaving their jobs at alarming rates.

What does this mean for a professional who is thinking of quitting their present job for a better one or someone who is already in the market for a new role? By understanding the current economic climate and the outlook for the rest of 2019, you can tailor your job search and position yourself to take advantage of this powerful (yet perplexing) moment in time.

Historic Job Gains - And Some Losses

Job growth in America is on an unprecedented surge: April 2019 marked the 103rd straight month that the economy has added jobs, while the unemployment rate has remained under 5 percent for the past 31 months. In fact, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in April, marking the lowest level since December 1969.

However, as Yahoo Finance reports, job openings recently rose to 7.5 million, due in part to approximately 1.2 million workers leaving the labor force. How to explain this volatility? It’s due to confidence in the market -- many employees are prepping their resumes or returning to school to re-enter the workforce in potentially higher-paying positions. This creates a challenging environment for employers and employees alike: How does an employer attract and retain top talent? On the other hand, how does a job seeker navigate this tricky time to stay competitive and stand out from an increasingly larger crowd of candidates?

“It’s extremely helpful to enlist the help of a career consultant during uncertain economic times,” said 20/20 Foresight Executive Marketing Managing Principal Bob Cavoto. “As recruitment experts, we understand what qualities companies value as current situations shift. And, we offer objective insights into what candidates should ask for when negotiations for a new position begin.”

What About Wages?

Let’s say you and your career consultant conduct a successful search and you land your desired dream job. Congratulations! Now there’s the question of compensation in today’s economic environment.

While all of this talk about extraordinary economic gains percolates, many economists point out that the average worker is only recently starting to feel the progress in their paychecks. It’s true: Wages have largely stayed stagnant even during this historic period of growth, only recently showing a slight growth (3.2 percent) in April, as reported by The New York Times.

A recently hired candidate should keep this shift in mind when negotiating a compensation package. Be sure to capitalize on this slight-but-significant surge and your new employer’s inclinations to build -- and keep -- a solid staff.
The 20/20 Foresight Executive Marketing team is made up of career consultants who have worked in the fields the firm represents, providing informed insight and invaluable support during your job search. Connect with us today by filling out the form at right or calling 708.246.2100.