Friday, August 30, 2019

Workers Are Cautiously Optimistic about the Job Market

Workers are cautiously optimistic as Labor Day approaches. Nearly one in four says it would be easy "to find a job with another employer with approximately the same income and fringe benefits" as they have now, according to the 2018 General Social Survey. In the aftermath of the Great Recession in 2010, only 12.6 percent felt such confidence...

Percent of workers who say it would be "very easy" to find an equally good job
2018: 24.2% (cautious optimism)
2016: 20.5%
2014: 19.5%
2012: 16.0%
2010: 12.6% (record low)
2008: 22.0%
2006: 31.8% (irrational exuberance)

In 2006, just before the start of the Great Recession, 31.6% of American workers were confident in their ability to find another equally good job. This irrational exuberance quickly disappeared as the stock and housing markets collapsed. By 2010, the 53 percent majority of workers said it would not be easy to find a comparable job. Today, only 35 percent think it would be hard. It has taken more than a decade for workers to regain even modest confidence in the job market.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the General Social Survey

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