The U.S. economy continues to show signs of solid growth, according to this morning's Labor Department report. These numbers can mean opportunity for savvy job hunters, experts say, especially those looking to snag better pay.
201,000 jobs were added in the month of August. That figure exceeded analysts' predictions and represented a near 37 percent bump from July's numbers.
Unemployment remains steady at 3.9 percent and hourly wages saw 2.9 percent year-over-year growth. This wage growth was one of the largest annual jumps in nine years.
Job-seekers looking to make the most of these numbers should think strategically, according to Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick and Glassdoor economist Andrew Chamberlain. These experts gave CNBC Make It two important tips on how job-hunters could seek out opportunity and negotiate their best offer given the current market.
For the month of August, employment in the business services field and healthcare industry increased by 53,000 and 33,000, respectively. This means that many companies are looking to fill knowledge-based positions like "tech, consulting and other one-on-one expert services," according to Chamberlain.
"That is clearly a huge sector for growth today and young people looking for a place with good potential should look in those fields," he says. Chamberlain adds that working in tech doesn't mean you have to be a programmer. "Our research shows that tech companies are hiring more and more non-tech roles" in fields such as sales and finance.
When it comes to securing a job in healthcare, Chamberlain says job-seekers should be aware that they don't need a medical degree and eight years of education to join the industry. He explains that if you have just one to two years of training, you can land a job as a nursing assistant or physician assistant. Those few years of education, he says, will be worth the investment as "healthcare is one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors in the economy with very strong potential."
The manufacturing industry saw a slight decrease of 3,000 jobs in August. Though the increase was slight, manufacturing has struggled for some time. Additionally, threatened tariffs on Chinese goods could provoke retaliation and impact jobs further. Hamrick says you do have "to question whether or not you will see more bleeding from the industry due to trade tensions."
Manufacturing does have its growth areas, Chamberlain notes. Manufacturing employment in sub-sectors such as transportation and warehousing rose by 20,000 in August, with Chamberlain attributing this continued growth to a rise in e-commerce.
If you're currently employed Chamberlain suggests putting yourself on the job market. The exercise will give you a sense for the opportunities available and help you understand how valuable you are in today's market. "Knowing what's out there can give you bargaining power with your current employer," he says.
If your employer still won't budge on your pay, Chamberlain says it might be time to switch jobs. "The research shows that people who move between jobs have much higher pay growth than those who stay put," he says. "My opinion is that this is the strongest job market we have seen in a generation."
"If you're unhappy," he adds, "I definitely think [now] is the best time."
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