As inflation continues to soar, people are quitting their jobs or entering the labor market in search of higher-paying opportunities.
A recent report from Pew Research Center found that low pay, followed by a lack of opportunities for career growth and disrespect in the workplace were the top reasons Americans quit their jobs last year.
Although the labor market has been hot for several months now, job-seekers won't maintain the upper hand for long, Giacomo Santangelo, an economist at Monster, tells CNBC Make It — so if you're hoping to land a new job and boost your income, now is the time to dust off your resume and start applying.
"People have been comfortable jumping from job to job up to this point because they were able to fall back on their savings, and they had a lot of choices, but that's going to be over very soon," he says. "More companies are implementing hiring freezes and waiting for the dust to settle from this volatile, transitional period we're in with the economy."
To help job-seekers find the best opportunities, Monster looked at millions of postings on their database and identified the jobs with the most new openings in May.
Here are the top five most in-demand jobs right now, per Monster's findings — and how much they pay, according to Payscale:
1. Registered nurse
Average salary: $68,237
2. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver
Average salary: $58,000
3. Sales representative, wholesale and manufacturing (except technical and scientific products)
Industry: Sales, manufacturing
Average salary: $61,642
4. Customer service representative
Industry: Retail, sales
Average salary: $40,444
5. Software developer, applications
Average salary: $71,958
Some of these jobs, like nursing and software development, have been popular since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, as people became more dependent on frontline health care workers to respond to the surge in cases and tech workers to build the online systems needed to sustain businesses when storefronts shut down.
Manufacturing jobs, however, including truck drivers and manufacturing sales representatives, have seen a more recent spike in hiring as the supply chain issues spurred by the pandemic finally start to ease, Santangelo notes.
Job-seekers and job-switchers looking for a new position should be prudent in their approach and start building a financial safety net to fall back on if an offer doesn't pan out as expected.
"Prepare to enter the job market the way you'd prepare for a storm," Santangelo says. "We know there's likely going to be an economic slowdown, but we don't know how serious it will be … when you're preparing for a storm, you gather all the necessary things you'll need to stay safe, and then you pray it doesn't happen — that's how we need to be treating the economy."
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