4 Job Market Trends For The New Year You Need To Know About


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The year is coming to a close, but the future’s looking bright for job seekers. The 2015 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey revealed that more than a quarter of companies expect to hire 100+ people over the next 12 months. But, that’s not the only job market trend worth noting for the new year.

With 2016 just around the corner, job seekers need to be aware of the latest trends affecting today’s — and tomorrow’s — job market. To meet your career goals in the new year, here are four data-backed trends you need to embrace during your job search, from what opportunities to pursue to where to look:

1. Freelancing opportunities are on the rise

The job market has grown increasingly accommodating of various kinds of workers, from the traditional 9-to-5 employee to the modern freelancer. And thankfully so, as freelancers — individuals who have engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work — are quickly becoming the new norm — and there are numbers to prove it.

The second annual “Freelancing in America” study by Upwork and the Freelancers Union found that more than one in three U.S. workers are now freelancing. To give you some perspective, that’s 53.7 million freelancers in America.

The study also found that the majority of freelancers (60 percent) made the move from traditional work to freelance work by choice, and 78 percent indicated they earned more freelancing within a year or less. Needless to say, freelancing has become less of an “in-between jobs” solution and more of a lucrative career choice.

2. Small organizations are winning the talent race

There’s a reason Millennial workers all flock to the startup world. Unlike its corporate counterpart, startup life offers employees a greater sense of responsibility and a wide array of opportunities (outside the confines of the job description). And this job market trend isn’t going to die anytime soon.

According to a 2015 LinkedIn report, seven million LinkedIn members changed jobs last year. Where did they go? To the underdog, of course. The study found that, while large organizations are losing talent, small organizations are increasingly gaining new talent. So, be open to job opportunities within startups or smaller businesses in the new year.

3. Compensation communication is increasing

It used to be that compensation was largely kept under wraps. But, more and more employers are realizing the importance of openly discussing compensation.

A 2015 Payscale survey of 71,000 U.S. employees revealed that a company’s ability to clearly communicate about pay is a top predictor of employee sentiment — from satisfaction to intent to leave.

What’s more, an open and honest discussion on compensation topped usual measures of employee engagement, such as advancement opportunities and recognition. That being the case, don’t be afraid to discuss compensation early in the hiring process. This way, both you and your potential employer will start off on the same page.

4. Hiring is increasing in various regions

As we leave 2015 behind and begin a new year, hiring will begin to pick up speed. In fact, regions throughout the country show very similar hiring patterns for the coming year across all degrees, with increases ranging from eight to 18 percent at the bachelor’s degree level, according to the Collegiate Employment Research Institute’s Recruiting Trends 2015-2016 report.

But, which regions of the country will increase hiring the most? For job seekers in the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast, the job market looks bright, with both regions increasing hiring by 17 percent in the new year.

What are some other job market trends job seekers can expect to see in the new year?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.