Job seekers are being offered $9,000 more than a year ago, but workers are feeling more insecure

How much money are you worth? 

Employees still have the upper hand in the labor market, with job candidates being offered more money than last year. The average full-time offer over the past four months was for $69,475 a year, up $9,000 from an average annual salary of $60,764 one year ago, according to the Survey of Consumer Expectations released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday. Some 19.5% of job seekers reported receiving at least one job offer over the past four months, down from 21.1% a year ago. 

Job seekers are also expecting higher salaries than a year ago — about $7,000 more per year. Across all age groups and education levels, job seekers in July said they expect an annual salary over the next four months of $67,416, the highest level since the series began in 2014 and up from $60,310 a year ago. Workers older than 45 and college graduates expected a bigger increase in the salaries offered to them than did other workers.

The average “reservation wage” — the lowest wage that respondents would be willing to accept for a new job — reached $78,645, the highest reading since the series began, up from $72,873 in July 2022. This annual increase was most pronounced for respondents older than 45, the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations’ Labor Market Survey found.

A tougher job market for younger workers

Despite the higher salary expectations, more workers are feeling insecure about their jobs than a year ago, fewer people are looking for new jobs and more people are concerned about becoming unemployed. The share of individuals who reported searching for a job over the past four weeks ticked down to 19.4% in July from 24.7% a year ago. Workers under 45, job seekers without a college degree and those earning less than $60,000 a year in their household led that decline. 

Those younger and lower-paid workers also expressed more concerns about becoming unemployed in the next four months. For workers under 45, 5.5% expected to become unemployed, compared with 2.3% a year ago. For all workers, the average expected likelihood of becoming unemployed increased to 3.9% from 2.3% a year ago and also reached the highest level since March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. added 187,000 jobs in July and hiring began to slow, according to government data released earlier this month. Although economists said it’s still a strong job market, with employers struggling to find workers, entry-level hiring declined across industries. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell slightly to 3.5% in July from 3.6% in June, according to the latest government data. 

Read:Most jobs are vehicles and not destinations:’ Entry-level hiring slows, but these jobs are on the rise for new graduates.

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