People should ‘take informed risks’ by changing jobs now

  • Daniel Zhao, an economist at Glassdoor, said it was “still a good time to find a new job”.
  • But for the job change, Zhao said “it’s important to take informed risks” with things appearing to be slowing down.
  • The United States added 315,000 nonfarm payrolls in August and 11.2 million job vacancies in July.

The job market may still be hot, but people changing jobs and considering throwing in the towel should do their research before quitting, an economist says.

Data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the United States added fewer jobs in August than in July: 315,000 compared to 526,000. However, job vacancies remain high, with data released earlier this week showing 11.2 million in July, and the labor market can still be described as “very hot,” Daniel Zhao, chief economist at Glassdoor, told Insider.

“Even if things calm down, it’s still a good time to find a new job, especially as inflation eats away at wage gains,” Zhao said. “One of the best ways to get an inflation-beating raise is to change jobs. That’s often when workers have the most leverage.”

However, workers looking to quit and change jobs may need to be extra careful.

“The caveat I would add is that it’s important to take informed risks,” Zhao said. “Because right now the job market is hot, but it looks like things are slowing down. So it’s important for workers to do their research, understand if the company they’re going to is financially stable or in an industry which should continue to grow.”

Some tech companies, for example, have laid off workers. However, not all layoffs are announced by technology companies, such as at Ford and 7-Eleven. Insider’s Shriya Bhattacharya reported in May that it may be harder to change jobs as some companies have slowed down or even paused hiring.

Alison Sullivan, career trends expert at Glassdoor, previously said in a statement to Insider in July that “it’s important to carefully assess your next steps” before quitting a job.

“Nobody wants to end up with quitter’s remorse,” Sullivan said. “It can happen when a new job or company doesn’t match your expectations. That’s why it’s essential to conduct research when making these career decisions.”

Over the past year, millions of people quit their jobs and joined the Great Resignation for reasons such as better pay. And while some people may have great regrets about quitting, a move can have positive effects for workers.

“I think my hope is that in the long run, the Great Resignation reminds workers that they have influence,” Zhao said. “That they can use their resignation as an opportunity to find better opportunities, negotiate better raises. So I think there is a potential long-term impact of the Great Resignation as a confidence booster for workers Americans.”

Current employees can also use leverage in their jobs so they don’t have to hand in their resignation letters, as CNBC reported. This includes asking for a promotion or a raise.

AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, told Insider after Friday’s jobs report that “we continue to see that employers have demand for workers” and that “workers continue to be able to have choices.”

In short, Konkel described the labor market as a strong labor market for workers.

“Overall, the job market is still healthy,” Zhao said. “We are seeing the labor market cool slightly, in line with the slowdown in the overall economy.”

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