The Current Unemployment Rate and What it Means For Job Seekers

As of December 2019, the United States unemployment rate was at 3.5 percent and the number of unemployed persons was at 5.8 million. A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was 6.3 million. Generally, the ideal unemployment rate is 4.5 percent.​

What does the current unemployment rate mean for Job Seekers?
Are you looking for a job? If so, this is a great time for you to be on the job hunt! We are currently in a job seeker’s market. Now is the time to get out there to review the plethora of jobs that are available. Since fewer people are looking for a job, you will most likely have more job offers to choose from.

Conversely, employers may have trouble with their hiring since we are in such a tight labor market. Since job seekers have their choice for whichever position they are most interested in, retaining the best talent is becoming more difficult for companies. They may see more job-hopping occurring, and there is a higher level of competition.
 
What to expect during your job search process
Ray Bixler with U.S. News & World Report gives some tips on what you can expect in our current job seeker’s market.
  1. Additional Interviews – In today’s job market, employers cannot afford high turnover. It takes too long to hire the right candidates, and to start the process over within a year is prohibitively expensive. Employee Benefit News reported last year that it costs employers 33 percent of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. This means it’s critical that all members of the team believe that the candidate is the right fit before an employer makes an offer. With this in mind, you should absolutely expect additional interviews – maybe even two or three rounds of interviews – when you are applying for a job. The whole team may want to meet you before that company decides you’re the candidate they want.
  2. An emphasis on culture – In the same way you are trying to sell yourself as the perfect candidate to fill the open role, employers are selling themselves to you. Companies are doing more to attract candidates by offering flexible schedules and competitive benefits, like greater freedom to work from home and higher salaries. Qualified job seekers are finding work more easily, and employers are going the extra mile and offering potential new hires all kinds of benefits to keep current employees happy and bring new hires in the door.
  3. Increased Interest in referrals – Do not underestimate the power of a referral. A report by iCIMS found that 70 percent of referred employees have not changed positions since being hired. If you know someone who works at the company you want to work at, absolutely ask for a referral. A referral would be a shining star on your application and show employers that you may be the right fit for their company if a current employee can already vouch for you. The thinking here is that if a current employee has seen you in action and wants to work with you again, there is little reason to believe that you won’t be a great addition to the team.

If you are just beginning your job search or have been in the market for a while, GeoSearch can help you to find the right fit. We offer free resume reviews and can help you to find a position that is a great match. Contact us today or view our job openings to start your search! 


References:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/10/unemployment-rate-get-real.asp
https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2018-07-20/how-a-low-unemployment-rate-may-affect-your-job-search