The labor market is looking more stable, according to the New York Fed’s latest Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) Labor Market Survey, based on March data.
Fewer people are searching for a new job, and satisfaction with non-wage benefits and promotion opportunities has improved slightly. In addition, the percentage of workers employed has risen from four months ago — from 94.7% to 97.4% — while the percentage taking a new job jumped from 5.1% in November to 5.5% in March, its highest level in almost three years.
At the same time, fewer people searched for a new job in the past four weeks — just 18.1%, the lowest level since March 2014 — and the decline was broad-based across demographic groups. That may reflect expectations about new job offers and declines in the number of actual job offers and average full-time wage offers.
According to the New York Fed report, 14.9% of individuals reported receiving at least one job offer in the past four months, down from 19.4% in November and the lowest level for the series since its start in November 2014. In addition, the average full-time wage offer dropped from $59,110 in the November survey to $56,167, a decline of almost 5%.
Despite that decline, the lowest wage that survey respondents would accept for a new job — known as the average reservation wages — rose in March, from almost $56,900 to nearly $60,274, or roughly 6%, and the average expected annual salary offer rose from almost $49,900 to just over $52,100, up about 4.5%.
Expectations for working later in life also increased. The average expected likelihood of working past age 62 rose from 51.1% to 52%, and a slightly higher percentage of respondents anticipate working beyond age 67: 33.8% compared with 33.3% in November.
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