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Job vacancies are near an all-time high. How to change careers

A woman walks past a “Now Hiring” sign outside a store on August 16, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.

Olivier Douliery | AFP | Getty Images

You don’t have to go far to see a ‘hiring in progress’ sign these days as some industries are struggling to bounce back amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For some workers, this may be a good time to change careers.

While millions of Americans are still unemployed, some industries cannot hire quickly enough to meet demand. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.4% in July but remains higher than before the pandemic. Those who claim unemployment insurance benefits fell to a low of 2.82 million during a pandemic during the week ending August 14, although it is still high.

At the same time, job vacancies hit an all-time high of 10.1 million at the end of June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (data is one month behind the unemployment report). This means that there is approximately one unemployed person per person. open job, according to data.

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But just because there are a lot of jobs open overall doesn’t necessarily mean it is for your specific industry. Before you start a new job search, or even quit a job without anything else, you should do your research on what’s going on in your industry, experts say.

“Nationally, there are currently two active online apps for every unemployed American, but that’s not the case everywhere,” said Julia Pollak, chief labor economist at ZipRecruiter.

If you’re in the recreation, hospitality, or other service industry, you are likely to have a much easier time finding a job than in other industries. There’s also a premium for remote work right now – around 55% of applicants want remote work, but only 10% of companies are offering it, according to Pollak.

Identify what you want in a new job

If you are looking to change jobs, especially in an industry where there is a lot of demand for new workers, you probably have more leverage than before the pandemic to negotiate, according to Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources. at Indeed.

“The pandemic has changed our outlook on what matters,” he said. “Job seekers have wanted it for a while, and now they’re going to get it.”

This means that when starting a new job you need to be very clear about what you are looking for and do your research to make sure the companies match your needs, whether it’s a higher salary, more vacation or flexible remote work, according to Wolfe.

During the interview process, he recommends asking questions to make sure the company will give you what you want, especially when it comes to more flexibility for remote working, which is a feature. major that people are looking for.

“Job seekers need to do their homework,” Wolfe said. “Come up with your list, ask questions and if they’re not transparent, you will take them back.”

He added that especially around remote working, some companies do not know what their policy will be in the future. However, by asking questions during an interview, you can define what is important to you and gauge the company’s response.

Who could benefit from the downturn in the labor market

Salaries, perks and perks for certain jobs – mostly entry-level positions that don’t require a college education in industries hit hard by the pandemic – are now prevalent as employers struggle to hire.

This tight labor market could benefit some groups more than others, Pollak said.

On the one hand, the teenagers were very lucky to apply and get such jobs for higher wages than usual. At this point, this summer was the best for teenage work since the 1950s.

People who had to leave the workforce during the pandemic and have not worked for a year may also be lucky to return to work now, as some employers are desperate for workers.

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