Low Unemployment Rates Drive Higher Expectations

While the record low unemployment rate continues to burden employers, who are struggling to find and retain talent, workers and candidates alike are using this opportunity to benefit themselves, according to a new survey released by TD Ameritrade.


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In the new report, Job Attitudes Survey—which featured more than 1,100 American adult investors with at least $10,000 in investable assets—employers continue to struggle to fill open roles because of the low unemployment levels, while employees and job candidates are reaping the benefits.
According to the findings, 70% of respondents say it’s easier to find a job now than it was 5 years ago—with Baby Boomers (71%) being the most optimistic when it comes to the current job outlook, followed by Millennials (66%) and Gen X (64%).
While Baby Boomers remain optimistic, 49% of Millennials say they’ve considered moving to another company because of the low unemployment rate, and overall, 36% of all respondents agree with this sentiment. Despite Baby Boomer being optimistic, 24% say they have considered switching companies.

Promotions Are Down

While employers continue to struggle to fill open positions, it’s no surprise that employee promotions are down. As 16% of all respondents say they have received a promotion over the last 12 months. Furthermore, 25% of Millennials say they’ve received a promotion, while only 15% of Gen X and 8% of Baby Boomers saying the same.

Workers Want More Money

The Job Attitudes Survey also finds that because of the low unemployment levels, 66% of all respondents expect a higher salary—this number is consistent among all age groups that were surveyed. Also, when it comes to wanting more money, 52% of Millennials have considered asking their employers for a raise, while only 43% of Gen Xers and 31% of Baby Boomers have considered asking for more money.
Surprisingly, employers are delivering on these requests. As 55% of Millennials, 52% of Gen Xers, and 44% of Baby Boomers all saying they’ve received a raise over the last 12 months. Additionally, slightly more women (53%) admit they received a raise compared to men (49%).

Workers Want Better Benefits and Perks

More than half (53%) of Americans expect additional work benefits and perks because of the low unemployment levels. And sadly, only 20% of Americans say their company has improved its benefits offerings over the past 12 months. So, if workers want better benefits, what are they looking for, exactly?
Second to base salary (73%), health insurance and vacation time are seen as equally important (67%) benefit offerings when considering a job offer. And a flexible schedule is more important to women (66%) than men (50%) when considering a job offer.
However, Baby Boomers and Millennials disagree on what’s important, and for obvious reasons. Baby Boomers are coming into retirement age, while Millennials are buying homes and starting families.
Significantly more Millennials place importance on bonus incentives (56%), company culture (51%), tuition assistance (18%), and student loan repayment programs (14%). While Baby Boomers find retirement savings account with a company match (65%) to be the most important benefit.
While it doesn’t seem like the unemployment rate will pick up anytime soon (which is good news for employees), what is your company doing to attract new workers and retain your current workforce?