Just last year, Spark News was full of articles that discussed how poor our job market was. Don’t get us wrong, the job market is still in a state of disarray and we have a lot of work to do to get back to normal. However, things are looking up. You can take a look at the unemployment rate if you’d like, but we all know that this is not a good gauge of whether we are improving or not. You can look at jobs growth, but again, the results are a bit skewed. The real way to see if things are actually improving is to look at the satisfaction and happiness levels of the people working in the job market. When the job market is very weak, more workers will stay at jobs they hate because they know it will be a long time before they find a new one. When the job market improves, more and more workers will leave a job they are unsatisfied with in order to find one that makes them happy.
This all makes a ton of sense. When the job market is weak and people are losing their jobs left and right, it’s likely that you will not volunteer to leave your job. You boss may be terrible, you may hate the actual work you are doing and your coworkers may drive you absolutely insane. However, it’s a job and more importantly, it’s a paycheck. In a weak job market, you’ll probably do everything in your power to keep the job you have. When the job market starts to pick up though, you can start to act on those feelings and issues you have. More and more people are getting hired and there are more jobs available. You no longer feel like you have to put up with this terrible job because there are finally more opportunities out there. According to reports, this is thankfully the current state we find ourselves in.
Randstad, the second largest HR services and staffing company in the world, conducted a study that showed how Americans are starting to feel more secure in their jobs and are less likely to make sacrifices in order to keep those jobs. Specifically, three out of four U.S. workers feel secure in their jobs. This is a great increase from the amount of U.S. workers that felt this way just last year. Most workers in the U.S. are also greatly optimistic about the future of the job market. More than half, specifically 54 percent, stated that they expect the job market to pick up the remainder of this year. As a result, a good number of these workers are more optimistic about changed jobs. However, they still have their guards up. While 45 percent of workers stated that they plan to explore different job options when the market starts to pick up, 58 percent don’t think they would find a job they would want to accept right now.
With that statistic, it’s clear that they job market is starting to pick up, but we are still a bit cautious with our actions. If you are unhappy at work, you may not up and leave just yet, but starting the process and poking around the market is a good start. Before, many workers didn’t even see the point in looking for a new job because the market was so weak. While workers may not be ready to leave their jobs just yet, only 20 percent of them are willing to take a reduction in benefits and 10 percent are willing to accept a demotion or a job of less value. This is where companies and employers need to pay attention. With the job market picking up, they need to make sure they are doing what they can to keep their employees happy and satisfied. They may have been able to take slightly advantage of their workers before, but as things start to improve, that will become less and less acceptable.
The overall opinions that workers hold towards their employers seems to be increasing as well. According to the study, 68 percent of employees enjoy going to work every day. That’s up 3 percent from March of 2011. It seems that more employees have trust in their companies as well, seeing as though 62 percent indicate they trust their company leadership to make good decisions for the employees and the business. Even more important, is the fact that 65 percent of employees believe their company shares their values. This is up 5 percent from March of 2011.
Overall, it looks like we are starting to really make some moves towards improving. Though we have a lot of work cut out for us and we are nowhere near recovered, it’s great to see good news like this to encourage us and keep our optimism up.
How do you feel about the job market right now? Do you think you are less willing to stay at a bad job now since things are starting to pick up? Tell me about it here in the comments or tweet me @nicole_spark. I’d love to hear your thoughts.