What's the Current State of the Job Market?

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Jun 26, 2018

Jun 26, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

With the American unemployment rate hovering steadily at 4%, the job market has changed dramatically in 2018.


While there are certainly more opportunities available, recruitment tactics and employer expectations have shifted accordingly. Plus, there are also political forces at play that undeniably impact not only the current job market, but its future.


If you're considering switching careers, or if you're in the process of applying for jobs already, having a firm grasp on the job market within the United States is essential.


With about 250 applicants per job opening, you need to know how you can make yours stand out -- and what hiring managers are looking for.


Read on to learn how the current job market will influence how you market yourself to potential employers.


The Current Job Market: An Overview

Before we get into anything more specific, let's start with a general job market overview.


In April of 2018, about 164,000 new jobs were created, which pushed the unemployment ranking officially below 4%. This is one of the lowest in the nation's history, and it's made the job market more competitive than ever before.


Wages are also on the rise, but they are still slightly lower than many economists have expected. In general, wages have increased by about 2.6% over the course of 2018 so far.

This may mean that, in the near future, companies will need to implement a dramatic rise in their wages in order to attract the kinds of applicants they want.


The skill gap within the job market is also at an all-time high, as applicants with excellent skill and experience levels will gravitate towards companies providing the most competitive salaries.


The manufacturing industry is also continuing to experience a serious boom, as more factory jobs continue to become available. This has led to a rise in consumer confidence, though many economists are not certain how much longer that will be able to last.


The Best Cities for Jobs

Now that you have a better understanding of the current job market, let's take a look at some of the cities where a variety of industries are booming.


If you're looking to make a personal change and move to a new city in addition to embarking on a new career path, some places will be more lucrative than others.


California, in particular, is experiencing a phenomenal job market at the moment. San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento will allow you to combine your love of warm weather with excellent opportunities in the tech world.


They'll also provide you with a solid sense of job security and some of the highest salary rankings in the nation.


You should also take a look at Washington, D.C., Miami, and Seattle. These cities, respectively, are celebrated for the government/education, international trade, and the aerospace industries.

The Top Industries of 2018

So, how has the low unemployment level and the rise of median-income salaries impacted specific industries? And which ones have benefitted the most from American economic growth?


It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that tech is still king when it comes to the overall employment market.

Jobs like working as a software or app developer, within coding and programming, or even in cybersecurity and risk management are in serious demand.

The tech industry also allows for more flexibility than other careers. Because many different types of companies -- from healthcare giants to global financial businesses -- require tech professionals, you'll be able to choose the niche market you'd like to work with.

By the year 2026, experts believe that over 250,000 new software development positions will open up.

The healthcare job market is also experiencing a serious boom at the moment.

Positions like oral surgeons, physicians, nurse practitioners, pediatricians, and even the field of dentistry have all seen a huge surge in growth in the past year.

In short, there's never been a better time to enroll in medical school or attend a trade school to get certification for a career in the healthcare field.

Risks to the American Job Market

Of course, sudden job growth and a strengthening of the financial markets, in general, doesn't come without certain risks.

Many experts fear that the current job market may soon become too oversaturated.

For employers, this means that they worry that they'll lose their most skilled workers to positions and companies that are able to pay more.

For employees, this means that although wages will be higher than in the past and more positions will be available, the threat of rising interest rates from the Fed will loom large.

This is because the economy as a whole could quickly overheat, leading to a sudden increase in prices across a variety of industries.

Additionally, recent tax cuts and even political factors like a change in immigration policy may also impact the job market.

In short, this boom may not last for as long as many hope -- and may come with serious consequences to the job and financial markets.

Looking for a New Job?

Whether you want to break into the tech industry or get a start in the healthcare field, the reality is that the current job market is incredibly strong.

However, political instability and the potential for rising interest rates in the future mean that you also need to think practically when it comes to your career.

The takeaway: the time to start applying for the job you've always wanted is sooner rather than later. Use our job board to connect with the best opportunities within a wide variety of industries and experience levels.

Looking for more advice about how the American job market will impact your search and how you present yourself to your recruiters?

Keep on checking back with our blog for more access to the latest trends, growth patterns, recruitment tactics, and much more.