Financial experts are still trying to create a clear picture of the job market after two years of covid. In April 2020, about 21 million jobs were lost or put on hold. Experts feared the rebound would take years. Instead, the job market surprised everyone by bouncing back quickly. Demand skyrocketed but workers were not coming back in the same way. Instead, there was a massive reshifting, a Great Resignation (as it has been called), and a lot of unfilled jobs in certain sectors. It’s an unusual job market, but in many ways, it has its advantages for workers.
Workers are empowered and have a little bit more leverage to negotiate wages or benefits packages. Wage negotiation, however, is not always easy or clear-cut.
Let’s dive into a few tips on how to get that wage you’re looking for.
And if you’re ready to search for a new job in 2022, connect with a trusted agency.
Looking for Work in an Unusual Job Market
First, a quick look at the economy and the job market in early and mid-2022. According to The Washington Post, this is the most unusual job market in modern American history. The Post details the unusual post-covid labor climate: the demand for workers has recovered, but the number of people willing to work has remained steady.
The rapid recovery of the economy after 2020 surprised most economists. The number of open jobs grew quickly, but the labor force did not have an equal reaction. This translates to a lot of unfilled positions and employers desperate to attract the right people for the job.
Because of this worker shortage, employers are finding ways to attract workers by improving wages, adding benefits packages, sign-up bonuses, flexible hours, and more.
Are the Labor Shortages Real?
The unfilled positions across many sectors have caused some backlogs and delays in a lot of industries. Stories have emerged from restaurants that cut hours due to a lack of staff to factories without enough workers, to construction project delays due to shortages.
A close analysis of the workforce reveals that the great reshuffling of workers meant that some sectors continue to have labor shortages while some have a surplus. The U.S. The Chamber of Commerce reveals that sectors in durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and health services have seen a labor shortage and a lack of experienced workers. On the other hand, jobs in transportation, construction, and mining have seen some form of labor surplus.
So How Can Job Seekers Benefit?
While it is a very unusual job market, that doesn’t mean that there are no benefits for those seeking work. In fact, most workers are looking for the same thing. In 2022, workers are looking for employment that offers:
- A flexible schedule
- Possibility for remote work
- Retirement contributions or accounts
- Health coverage
- Paid time off
How to Negotiate Better Pay
If you’re looking for any of the above perks and benefits, you’re not the only one. There is competition out there, but the shortages in many sectors put workers at an advantage. It gives job seekers more options and some leverage to land the job that is right for them at the wage they are happy with.
So when it comes time to talk about money with a potential employer, here’s what you need to know:
#1 Do some research on the job market for that position
- First and foremost, you don’t want to shoot blindly. Research online—sites like Indeed or Monster— can offer some idea of what similar positions offer. You want to keep negotiations within the expected bounds of the position and industry. It also shows that you know your stuff.
#2 Approach the conversation openly
- While it takes some time to build some confidence, starting conversations can be as easy as figuring out a range that the company is willing to pay for the position. Companies usually budget out a salary for any open job. This can give you an idea of what the company expectations are and whether you’re in a position to push the boundaries a bit. Remember that companies often begin by offering a lower estimate, so don’t be afraid to talk about a number higher than their original offer.
#3 Think about more than just a salary base
- When negotiating pay, it is about more than just the paycheck. Consider some of the above-listed worker demands and which ones of those are important for you. Perhaps a flexible schedule is more valuable to you than a slightly higher wage. Also, inquire about sign-up bonuses, healthcare benefits packages, or other perks you are interested in and factor that in with your negotiations.
#4 Be confident
- Whether you are asking for higher wages or looking for a flexible work schedule, be confident about what you are requesting and why you are requesting it. Help the employer understand the reasons and why you consider your requests valid and important. Help them see how this would make you a better employee, more productive, or why the salary expectations are what they are. In these situations, being very clear and articulate about your requests can really go a long way.
Looking for that Next Great Opportunity? Get Connected with Job Connection
Regardless of what industry you are in or are looking to get into, Job Connection has experience in connecting El Pasoans with great opportunities. By helping your search or providing support, we help El Paso job seekers find what they are looking for. Our long-standing relationships and connections with the top employers in the region mean we get to connect with the right candidates.
Ready to jump into a new career? Call The Job Connection today.