As the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May, employment and the number of open jobs have continued to increase in 2019. This job growth trend isn’t expected to change anytime soon either, which means that the thriving labor market is here to stay—for a little while, at least.
The job market has had ups and downs since organizations started collecting data on it in the early 1900s. The unemployment rate has been as low as 1% (during World War I) to as high as 25% (during the Great Depression). Right after the Great Recession of 2007, which many of us remember, unemployment peaked at 10%. Today, in the tightening labor market, unemployment is at 3.6%.
Let’s take a look at some of the other major ways the job market has evolved over the years.
1. The Interview Process Is Slower
According to a Glassdoor study, average hiring times in the U.S. expanded from 12.6 days to 22.9 days between 2010 and 2014. This can be frustrating for job applicants, but the extended interview process is due to changes in the nature of jobs.
Previously, there were many lower-skilled positions, but the most in-demand jobs now are those that require experience and training. These jobs require a more thorough—and therefore longer—interview process.
2. Skills Matter More Than Titles
Because the job market has become so competitive for businesses trying to attract top talent, hiring managers are becoming more comfortable making non-traditional hires. In the end, it’s not about the titles professionals have, but about their skills.
To help businesses search for candidates with the right skills, innovators have created resume-scanning software that identifies candidates who mention keywords relevant to the role businesses are hoping to fill.
3. Mobile Applications Are The Norm
According to the Pew Research Center, 78% of millennials used mobile devices to find jobs as of 2016; 73% of Gen Xers did the same. Because of the current healthy job market, businesses are making it as easy as possible for applicants to send them their information.
“Easy apply” features, like those on LinkedIn and Glassdoor, make it possible for candidates to apply for jobs anywhere and everywhere.
4. It’s Easier To Narrow Your Job Search
While there weren’t many open jobs during the Great Recession, companies now have so many open positions that they can’t fill them fast enough. With such a large selection, candidates can struggle to figure out which jobs they want to apply to.
To help job seekers, job sites have evolved to include features that allow them to filter their results based on factors like salary, company size, industry, and start date.
5. There’s An Increase In Flexible Labor
According to NPR, 1 in 5 workers was employed on a contract basis as of 2018. As the U.S. economy thrives, professionals aren’t afraid to dive into the freedom of freelance work, ditching more traditional roles as salaried employees.
In fact, self-employed freelancers in the top 25 U.S. markets generated more than $135 billion in 2018—showing that freelancing can mean improving a professional’s flexibility—and finances.
6. Video Interviewing Is More Common
As businesses begin to encourage diversity and inclusion, video interviewing is becoming more and more common. Of hiring managers, 60% use video technology for remote job interviews.
Video interviewing removes fiscal and locational biases—and opens up a larger candidate pool, benefiting both businesses and professionals alike.
As the job market grows, job seekers need to update their job search strategies, embracing the new technologies and trends this thriving economy brings.