Breaking: Job Openings at 7.1 Million

By Robert Half October 9, 2019 at 8:00am

August job openings were at 7.1 million, little changed from July. In fact, the August Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) was very similar to July’s report. The number of workers hired was also little changed, as was the number of separations, or workers who quit or were laid off. 

Here is a summary of key data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ just-released JOLTS report:

  • Job openings: 7.1 million
  • People hired: 5.8 million
  • People who left their jobs (total): 5.6 million
  • People who left their jobs (voluntarily quit): 3.5 million
  • People who left their jobs (layoff or involuntary reason): 1.8 million

It's still a job candidate’s market, and those with in-demand skills not only have employment options but also more leverage to ask for higher salaries. 

According to a recent Robert Half survey, 57% of professionals think a stronger economy has helped their earning potential. Moreover, 73% of workers report they’ve checked their salary against market rates within the last year. Nearly half feel they’re underpaid

It’s worth noting that more woman than men feel they are underpaid. Here’s some great salary negotiation advice from Diane Domeyer, a Robert Half executive.

And here are three tips to help ensure you are getting paid the market rate for your job:

1. Do your research

Understand what people in your role and at your skill and experience level are earning. While it’s becoming more common for colleagues to share salary information with each other, don’t rely solely on that information. Research pay levels by using reputable resources like the Robert Half 2020 Salary Guides. You can also use our Salary Calculator to adjust starting salaries to your location.

2. Talk to your manager

Don’t wait for your annual review. Set up a meeting with your boss to discuss why you think you deserve a raise. Enter the conversation equipped with numbers from your research so your employer knows that you’ve done your homework.

It’s important to make a case for yourself by discussing extra projects you’ve taken on that aren’t a part of your job description, for example, or showing how you saved the firm money or increased efficiencies. You need to demonstrate tangible examples of your work that benefited the company. 

3. Be tactful and professional 

The truth is you may present strong reasons for a raise and still not get it. Always remain respectful and keep your cool. Budgets may be tight due to losing a major client, for example, and your manager may not be able to offer you more money. Ask if you can check in about a raise in three or six months, and be open to non-monetary options such as more vacation time or a flexible work schedule.

Interested in pursuing new job opportunities? Robert Half can help you!

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