Most people enter a new year with a positive, hopeful outlook of what the next 12 months will hold for their lives. Unfortunately, that positive attitude is a little more hit-or-miss in regards to what 2014 holds for the job market.
Our recent poll of Movin’ On Up readers found that more than a third believe the market will get worse in 2014, with only 24% feeling tentatively positive and 19% feeling very positive about job growth this year. In contrast to last year’s similar poll of 2013 job market predictions, this year’s results seem to indicate a negative trend. For 2014, positive predictions fell 10% compared to 2013. However, national resources take a different view.
The Big Picture
The Wall Street Journal reports that “absent an economic shock, total jobs finally could surpass their pre-recession peak by mid-2014.” A recent WSJ survey revealed a general feeling of optimism from economists who predict that 198,000 jobs will be added each month. The chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, Mark Zandi, had an even more positive prediction, telling USAToday that he anticipates a monthly job gain of 225,000.
Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, has a good explanation of why there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on what hiring will look like in 2014, based on the results from CareerBuilder’s Annual Job Forecast. “The general sentiment shared by employers whom CareerBuilder talks to every day is that there will be a better job market in 2014. What we saw in our survey was reluctance from some employers to commit to adding jobs until the outcomes of debt negotiations and other issues affecting economic expansion are clearer.”
What This Means for You
All of this uncertainty isn’t a license for you to give up on your job search this year. If these predictions are accurate, the farther into the year we get, the more companies will begin hiring. CareerBuilder’s survey also showed that 51% of the employer respondents currently had open positions for which they couldn’t find qualified workers. This skills gap can be a great advantage in your job hunt if you take the time to build up your knowledge and experience. Plus, almost half of the employers said they were willing to train employees who lacked the skills required for a position.
Some of the areas associated with the most hiring in 2014 include business development, sales, technology, and operations, according to Forbes. More than 25% of those employers surveyed by CareerBuilder reported they plan to create new jobs this year in science, technology, engineering, and math, with the biggest salary increases associated with sales and IT.
Whether you’re expecting good things or bad things from the job market over the next 12 months, don’t let your feelings or predictions affect your own personal job hunt. Take charge of your situation, get your name out there, and do what it takes to make yourself a desirable employee. At the end of the day, most employers are always looking for quality, hard-working people to add to their teams.
Do you have any specific predictions about this year’s job market? What do you do to make yourself a top candidate and increase the likelihood of getting hired? Please share your thoughts with the rest of us in the comments section below!