People who switch jobs get paid more

Wooden signpost with two opposite arrows over clear blue sky Old Job and New Job Career change conceptual image

Jumping ship at your job pays off.

Teachers, nurses, construction workers and even hotel employees who switched jobs recently saw bigger wage increases than their former colleagues who stayed put, according to new research from ADP, the payment processor.

The findings come as employers are scrambling to hold onto their workers because there’s an abundance of job openings. There were 6.09 million job openings in September, according to Labor Department figures released Tuesday. That’s a hair under the record high of 6.14 million in July. The government began counting job openings in 2000.

Such a high number of job openings are a mix of good and bad news. The good: Employers are hiring and America’s job market is strong. Unemployment is at 4.1%, the lowest in 17 years.

The bad: Companies either can’t find enough workers at a certain wage or candidates with the right job skills.

Employers often say a lack of job skills is holding back the economy, and that America as a whole needs to invest more in job training that focuses on skills that are in demand.

Another school of thought argues that companies should just pay more if they can’t find anyone. In fact, despite the shortage of workers, U.S. wages overall aren’t going up much. Wage growth in October was a sluggish 2.4%.

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