If you’re in the market for a job, you’re in luck with U.S. unemployment sitting at 4% - near an 18-year low. But if you’re in the market for a “better-quality” job you’re really in luck.
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“The optimism is well founded,” said Andrew Challenger, vice president of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, during an interview with FOX Business. “We are seeing people land at quick rates and these people are getting higher quality roles.”
While higher quality is loosely defined, it can cover a salary bump, a title change and more responsibility, as well as better benefits.
Challenger also noted that a recent survey of his firm’s clients, mostly business professionals, showed that more than 94% of respondents confirmed that when they did land a new job, it was better across the board. A reading he described as, “as good as we have ever seen” yet.
Over at Gallup, a recent survey on the job market showed 65% Americans are optimistic about finding a “quality job” – the highest in the firm’s 17-year history.
“We think this is pretty much correlated to unemployment,” Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor-in-chief, tells FOX Business. While Gallup doesn’t survey what exactly drives the economy, it does note that “partisanship” figures into sentiment. Republicans are much more positive about “the job market and economy under Trump,” with 85% sharing the view that it’s a good time to find a quality job. The Democrats are less positive with just 50% seeing the availability of quality jobs.
Either way, it is hard to deny hiring is brisk. U.S. employers added 213,000 new positions in June, exceeding estimates. The monthly gains are the longest consecutive on record – 93 months – as noted by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers. Even more telling, 601,000 workers entered the labor force as many began their job search, yet to be hired, after an extended period on the sidelines.
Additionally, 3.6 million workers quit their jobs in May, either for a new role or perhaps hired away. That’s the highest level ever, as reported in the JOLTS data, tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
There is one caveat: workers deciding to stay in their current roles are not seeing the same quality when it comes to getting a raise.
“Wage increases are going to people who are switching jobs, not for retention,” cautions Challenger.
Suzanne O'Halloran is Managing Editor of FOXBusiness.com and is a graduate of Boston College. Follow her on Twitter @suzohalloran