How Low Unemployment Rates Affect Your Job Search

Jul 13

In May of 2018, unemployment rates hit 3.9%, the lowest it’s been since the year 2000. This means that compared to previous months and years, the percentage of workers who are unemployed and actively looking for a job is much smaller than in previous years.

While this initially seems like a good thing, the reality is a little more complicated, especially if you’re a nurse or physician who is planning to look for a job in the next few months.

So, how will the unemployment rate affect your job search?

The bad news about low unemployment

If you’re a nurse looking for a job, the low unemployment rate may present challenges when finding your next position.

One of the potential issues facing general job searches during a period of low unemployment is wage inflation. When wages inflate far faster than normal rates, it can affect a hospital’s profitability, meaning that when they are having to pay nurses more, they will be less likely to hire new nurses, or may try to fill the gaps with less qualified workers.

In the long run, this can contribute to issues like low nurse to patient ratios, and eventually to nurse burnout.

The good news for job seeking nurses

However, a low unemployment rate is positive for nurses, since it means that there is less competition for jobs. More people are currently working, so when there is a job open, less people will be applying. If you’ve been unemployed, or if you’re returning to the workforce after time away, it may give you an advantage when applying, as your resume is less likely to get buried under hundreds of other applications (Need help with your resume? Check out our guide for how to make a healthcare resume). Additionally, the nursing shortage means that you have options when it comes to choosing a position that is a good fit.

Additionally, a lower unemployment rate means that salaries tend to be higher, as companies want to better attract and retain nurses. Many companies will offer additional incentives in order to motivate their employees and to encourage them to stay in their positions.

Beyond this, healthcare is the the biggest contributor to the job market, adding 37,000 new jobs in 2017. As our population continues to age, there will continue to be a high demand for nursing jobs in every state, particularly advance practice nursing roles like nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners.

How Relode can help

If you’re not sure how to navigate the current job landscape, we’d love to help. Working with our team will ensure that you’re not only finding the job fit that’s best for you, but that you have a team that is actively helping to position you for success. If you’re interested in learning more about how Relode can help you in your job search, you can get in touch with our team, or browse open positions here.

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Molly Powers