This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org. The latest labor market data confirmed that the job market remains remarkably resilient. In January, the U.S. economy added an eye-popping 517,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest in more than a half-century.
Still, even in a strong job market, fortunes vary as evidenced by recent layoffs at companies like Amazon
So, if you want to switch jobs this year, you’ll need to be as strategic as ever in your search. To help you better understand this somewhat puzzling job market, I read through several recent labor-market reports. Here are my main takeaways, along with a few tips on how to make the most of these trends.The state of the labor market1. There are more openings than workers The December Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are 1.9 jobs available for every person seeking one. The main drivers behind this are the aging of boomers, curtailed legal immigration and declining population growth. Given the deep-seated and long-term supply dynamics, Indeed and Glassdoor economists say it’s unlikely that the talent shortage will ease soon. See: Looking for a new job? Brush up your résumé with a computer algorithm. Seriously, it could pay off.2. Remote work is here to stay But expect fewer fully remote opportunities. Earlier in February, The Wall Street Journal reported that the return-to-office rate — a measure of office occupancy in 10 major U.S. cities — exceeded 50% of prepandemic levels for the first time since early 2020. This doesn’t mean employers have abandoned remote work, but more are moving toward hybrid models that require employees to be in the office at least part of the time. Tip: As more employers adopt hybrid employment models, be sure to ask if a job is remote, in-person or hybrid before accepting an offer. Not all virtual jobs are fully remote, so read job postings closely and ask smart questions in the interview. Be aware that FlexJobs found that most of its “remote job” postings in 2022 required employe …