More Americans are searching for jobs but they are becoming more pessimistic about receiving a job offer and expect employers to offer them less money, according to a new survey.
The New York Fed has conducted its Labor Market Survey every four months since March 2014. In the July survey, the first to be published, it found the proportion of individuals who reported searching for a job in the past four weeks increased from 19.4% in March to 22.7%.
The increase was widespread across all demographic groups, but was most notable for respondents age 45 and less, among whom the proportion of job seekers shot up from 22.7% in March to 28.2%.
Just over 17% of those surveyed reported receiving at least one job offer in the past four months, similar to the proportion this March. But the average expected likelihood of receiving at least one job offer in the next four months has declined from 24.9% in November 2016 to 22.0% last month.
On the wage side, moreover, the average full-time offer wage received in the past four months declined from $58,880 in the March survey to $49,250, while the average expected annual salary of job offers in the next four months dropped from $54,590 to $50,790, the lowest level in a year.
Respondents on average said in July that the lowest annual salary they would accept in a new job would be $57,960, down from $59,660 only four months earlier.
The study “paints a gloomy picture of U.S. workers’ aspirations,” Reuters said, noting that even though the unemployment rate, at 4.4%, is near a 16-year low after more than eight years of economic recovery, national measures of wages have shown only modest growth.
The New York Fed also found that satisfaction with promotion opportunities at respondents’ current jobs declined from 48.0% in March to 44.3%, with the drop most notable for workers without a college degree.