2023 Job Market Outlook: What You Need to Know to Secure Your Next Job

2023 Job Market Outlook: What You Need to Know to Secure Your Next Job

The latest employment data has verified the job market's remarkable durability. In January, the American economy created an astounding 517,000 jobs, and the joblessness rate decreased to 3.4%, the lowest rate in over 50 years.

However, in spite of a sturdy job market, the fortunes of job seekers differ, as is evident from recent layoffs at big companies such as AmazonAMZN +0.9%, Disney, and Salesforce. Consequently, if you plan to switch careers this year, you must be strategic as ever during your job search.

To aid in your comprehension of this rather perplexing job market, I scrutinized multiple modern labor-market reports. Below are my primary insights, accompanied by a few recommendations on how to maximize these trends.

The Status of the Employment Market. The number of employment opportunities outstrips the available workforce. The December Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 1.9 job vacancies for every job seeker. The primary factors behind this situation are the advancing age of baby boomers, restricted legal immigration, and slowing population growth. Given these deeply ingrained and persistent supply dynamics, economists from Indeed and Glassdoor contend that the scarcity of skilled workers is improbable to dissipate any time soon.

1. Remote work is staying but fully virtual roles will dwindle. Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that the return-to-office percentage, measuring office capacity in 10 big American cities, crossed 50% of pre-pandemic levels for the first time since early 2020. Nevertheless, this doesn't signify that employers have deserted remote work. Instead, many are moving toward hybrid models where employees have to work in-office at least part-time.

Tip: As hybrid employment becomes more prevalent, make sure you inquire about the job's in-person, remote, or hybrid nature before accepting an offer. Not all virtual jobs are entirely remote, so be sure to read job listings carefully and pose intelligent questions during interviews. Keep in mind that FlexJobs discovered that most of its "remote job" listings in 2022 necessitated working in a particular region, city, or state.

2. Wage hikes are stable but slowing down. As the labor market rebounded in spring 2021 from the initial economic shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, salaries and wages started to increase. They are still increasing, with the most recent annual pace at 4.4%.

This aligns with data from the Indeed Wage Tracker based on job ads from Indeed.com. It revealed that 82% more job sectors experienced a slowdown in wage growth in November than they did six months before. According to the current trend, Indeed predicts that posted wage growth will return to its pre-pandemic pace of 3% to 4% by the second half of this year.

Tip: When negotiating a salary for a new job, do your research. Consult your network, review sites like Salary.com and Glassdoor.com, and scour job postings (some states require employers to publish compensation ranges when advertising jobs) to set a practical salary range. Remember to factor in the worth of benefits like retirement savings, gym memberships, and health insurance. Employers increasingly emphasize benefits to attract talent.

3. Labor Market Trends. Video interviews are here to continue. According to the 2023 Career Industry Trends Report, which summarizes the findings of a career-service providers' yearly meeting called Career Jam, 82% of employers started video interviews due to Covid-19, and a remarkable 93% of them plan to keep doing so.

Furthermore, some job boards allow employers to pose questions to candidates via video, and LinkedIn has a feature called "Demonstrate Skills," which enables individuals to write or record videos to showcase particular skills.

Tip: Add video content to your LinkedIn profile. This will aid in establishing your brand and demonstrating your proficiency with technology, an essential ability for older job seekers to highlight.

4. Hiring managers prize competencies over degrees. Companies such as Walmart, Google, Apple, IBM, as well as some state and local governments, have promised to implement competency-based practices. This means that if you have the necessary skills, a lack of a degree may no longer be a deal-breaker for some positions. Although the trend is still emerging, career services providers claim to see more job postings requesting a degree "or equivalent experience."

Tip: After identifying a job, pinpoint the specific skills necessary to land it. If you lack them, consider short-term courses and certificate programs provided by industry associations, community colleges, and websites like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera.org, and EdX. According to the Trends Report, more than 10% of low-paying U.S. workers, many of whom lacked a degree, obtained higher-paying work in the last two years by "upskilling" in this way.

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