Fed Survey Shows Rise in Labor Market, Wage Expectations

NEW YORK – A survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows improved expectations for the labor market, as well as an increase in the the lowest wage at which jobseekers would accept a new position.

In its July Labor Market Survey, the New York Fed found that fewer people expected to lose their jobs compared to a year ago – 2.5% compared to 3.7% in July 2020 – and that more workers expected to receive at least one job offer – 21.6% versus 18.5% in July 2020.

Also rising were the average expected annual salary of job offers, which increased to $57,207 from $54,646, and the reservation wage – the lowest wage that respondents would accept for a new job – to $68,954 from $64,226. 

The year-over-year increase in reservation wage was most pronounced in workers 45 and older and those without a college degree. 

Among survey respondents who were employed in the second quarter of 2021, 91.8% were still employed by the end of July, up from 84.5% last year.

“This increase was due to a decline in transitions into unemployment to 0.4% from 10.5% in July 2020. The decline in transitions into unemployment was broad-based across age, education, and income groups,” the survey summary released by the New York Fed said. “Employer-to-employer transitions, on the other hand, increased to 5.9% from 4.4% in July 2020. This increase was most pronounced for those with household incomes less than $60,000.”

More workers also reported looking for a job in the second quarter – 24%, compared to 19.6% last year – and more received job offers, rising to 18.7% from 13.5% in July 2020.

However, satisfaction with wages, nonwage benefits and promotion opportunities all decreased between July 2020 and July 2021, falling to 58.2%, 62.6% and 46.5%, respectively.

The Labor Market Survey is conducted as part of the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations. Every four months, roughly 1,000 participants are asked about their current or most recent jobs, including job transitions, search efforts and outcomes such as job offers and wages. Those who are currently employed are also asked about their satisfaction with wages, benefits and opportunities for advancement. 

The full results of the July Labor Market Survey is available HERE.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.