Job Seekers Are Rethinking Their Plans Due to Inflation and the Stock Market Decline. Should You?

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Are you better off staying put?


Key points

  • Many people have been seeking out jobs due to the labor market being strong.
  • Given the state of the stock market and economy, some are now reconsidering and staying where they are.

It’s hardly a secret that the past seven months or so have been tricky ones, economically speaking. Not only has inflation soared since the start of the year, but many people are still seeing big losses in their brokerage accounts compared to what they had at the beginning of January.

But rampant inflation and stock market volatility aren’t just messing with people’s wellbeing — they’re also prompting would-be job seekers to reconsider their plans. According to recent data from Quicken, half of workers who had initially planned to switch jobs this year are instead putting those searches on hold. And you may be thinking of doing the same.

It may be a bad time to jump ship

The state of the economy and stock market is causing a lot of people a world of upheaval. And some may not want to add to that upheaval by uprooting themselves on the job front.

What’s more, the Federal Reserve is trying its best to tame soaring inflation by implementing a series of interest rate hikes. The goal there is to slow the pace of consumer spending so that the supply of available goods is able to catch up with demand.

The fear, though, is that the Fed won’t achieve the modest pullback in spending it’s hoping will ensue, but that instead, consumer spending will decline in a very big way as borrowing grows increasingly expensive. That could lead to a recession — one that’s marked by a notable uptick in job losses. And so it’s easy to see why some people aren’t so eager to make a move.

Though layoffs don’t always happen on a last in, first out basis, the fear among many is that being new to a job will cause them to be first on the chopping block if economic conditions sour. And that’s not a good place to be.

Plus, some people may have less leeway these days to absorb a layoff because they’re still sitting on losses in their brokerage accounts. Granted, it’s also best to have separate money for emergencies in a traditional savings account. But those who use their stock holdings as their emergency backup plan may not want to shake things up professionally at a time when their investments are down in value.

Should you put your job search on hold?

If you’re overwhelmingly unhappy at work, or if you’re underpaid and have been denied a raise many times over, then you may want to consider moving forward with a job search despite the shaky economic backdrop we’re all grappling with. But if you’re in a good position work-wise and your income is decent, then there’s certainly something to be said for not causing yourself upheaval at a time when a recession could be right around the corner.

Ultimately, though, getting a new job right now is not necessarily the risky prospect you might think it is. Companies that are looking to hire clearly have a need for talent, and they clearly have the means to pay for it.

Sure, a recession could change things substantially — but the same could hold true at your current job. And so if there’s any part of you that’s notably dissatisfied with your present job situation, it could pay to pursue a change.

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