All signs point to a tight labor market. Here is the situation as it stands right now:
  • Companies are struggling to fill job openings as the unemployment rate has been at or below 4 percent for more than a year.
  • Yes, there is a slowdown in the global economy. But moderate job gains in the U.S. are still expected for the remainder of 2019.
  • According to the Dallas Fed, the Texas economy continues to grow at a strong pace. Construction, financial services, and leisure and hospitality industries have seen particularly robust growth. 

What does this mean for you? It might be time to take a look around and turn this tight labor market to your advantage.

Stretch Yourself
This is a great time to consider jobs that might be a bit of a stretch for you. As companies are struggling to fill positions, they are more apt to consider a candidate who doesn’t necessarily fulfill all their education and experience requirements. If you fulfill only 70-80% of the stated requirements for a job, go ahead and apply. Be ready to explain how you can meet a company’s needs with specific examples and you might find yourself in a new position where you can learn and grow.

This is also a great time to ask for more money. Figure out what the market rate is for the position and industry you are applying for – and make that the starting point for your salary negotiations.

Pivot Your Career
It might be time to explore a different industry or an entirely different career. Think about pursuing a position in industries that hold up best during economic downturns. These are usually industries that serve the local economy, such as healthcare, government, education, and food and retail. In fact, healthcare is the largest U.S. employer and is projected to add more jobs between 2016 and 2026 than any other industry.

Of course, no occupation is recession-proof, but it is wise to look at occupational outlook trends and projections. Check out’s blog and the government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook for information on employment trends and forecasts.

Shop Around
Give yourself the opportunity to shop around. Only give serious consideration to opportunities that spark your interest and passion. Remember, when it comes to your career, you are playing the long game. Think and act with your long-term interests in mind:

  • What are your career goals? Will this position further these goals?
  • Ask your professional network for advice and share information.
  • Assess any new job for growth potential as well as compensation and benefits.

Of course, you might find that you are happy where you are, but you want to grow. Talk to your current employer about moving to a different department or position. With such a tight labor market, they might be much more inclined to give you the career path you want rather than lose you to another company.

There is no better time to look for a new job than when jobs are plentiful. A tight labor market gives you the opportunity to shop around, negotiate from a position of strength, and consider new opportunities for growth. Take advantage of this time and strike while the iron is hot.