Now may be the best time to start your job hunt if you want to stay ahead of the competition, according to ZipRecruiter's Chairman and CEO Ian Siegel.
"The back half of this year and the first part of next year, there is going to be an avalanche of job seekers moving in the market," he told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). "Right now is the best time if you're a job seeker to go search because you're going to want to beat out all that competition that's coming in."
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Job seekers now benefit from two factors, according to Siegel. The first is that employers are hiring "aggressively," but there's still a shortfall of applicants.
"The reopening is here, they're hiring, and they're hiring aggressively, but job seekers are still proving reluctant," he said. "There is enormous pent-up demand amongst job seekers to get back to work that is currently not being expressed."
Job openings jumped by 597,000 in March, reaching a record high of 8.1 million, according to data by the Labor Department. At the same time, hires rose by just 215,000, hitting 6 million. Additionally, the number of unemployed workers per job fell to 1.2 in March, down from its pandemic high of 5 in April 2020.
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The second factor is that many workers are waiting to quit their current jobs, leaving fewer job applicants now. Quit rates, or voluntary exits from jobs, were unchanged at 2.4% in March, but up from its pandemic low of 1.6% in April 2020.
"On top of all these unemployed and underemployed people not searching for work, there's this phenomenon going on right now where a lot of the people who are currently employed... are actually sheltering in place at their current place of work," Siegel said.
For job seekers, that means now is the time to act, he said, rather than wait until next year.