Keeping and Finding Talent in a Tight Job Market

Employees working on a project around a wooden table in the break room.
Woman video editing on a big Apple monitor looking away from camera.

Recent labor report shows that unemployment rates are at the lowest they’ve been in almost fifty years. This makes keeping talent even harder. Economists believe we are at full employment.

The national average unemployment rate is 3.6%.

But because the job market is tight, employers need to get creative with how they find and keep good workers.

Wage Inequality

Following the recession, wages fell. Even as the economy expands, employers have struggled to raise wages to match. And if another recession hits, Americans likely won’t be ready.

This is confusing because typically wages go up when the job market is tight.

One theory is that wages aren’t the same for the same type of work. Newer employees have been forced to take lower paying versions of the same job as a tenured employee.

Even when the tasks are the same, new employees are making less for the same responsibilities.

Employers looking to attract talented employees can compete by offering both competitive wages and benefits. Strong benefits show that employers are invested in their employees.

Group of workers standing in a company huddle.

Not Enough Workers

Low unemployment numbers means it’s hard to find workers. In some parts of the US, it’s not just hard, it’s nearly impossible.

States like Iowa have unemployment rates hovering around 1%. This makes it a challenge for businesses of all sizes to find people to fill the role. Even though the economy is strong, higher wages may not always be feasible.

When wages are stagnant, employers need to differentiate themselves with benefits programs. Planning for employee growth in not only helps today, it sets up a business for long-term employment success.

The falling unemployment rate has made it easier to find work. But for employers, it creates new challenges. Businesses need to use attractive benefits in addition to wages to keep talent and retain employees.

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