92% Job Seekers in 2006 Won Equivalent or Better Salaries: Challenger Job Market Index

In 2006, some 92% of job seekers finding new positions won equivalent or better salaries, benefits and/or titles, the highest annual percentage since 1997, latest evidence of increased demand for skilled workers, according to Challenger Job Market Index survey. 

In 2005, 90% of job seekers gained equivalent or better positions. The job market has shown steady improvement since the last recession in 2001. In 2002, the job-improvement rate fell to an all-time low of 79.8%. 

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to a 64-month low of 4.4% in October and remains at 4.5% as of December. An unemployment rate under 5.0% is considered to be indicative of a labor shortage.

Those with a four-year college degree are enjoying an unemployment rate of just 1.9%. Unemployment in management and professional occupations averaged 2.1% in 2006.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics's job openings and labor turnover report revealed that firms in the professional and business services sector saw 500,000 employees quit in November, up from 359,000 a year earlier.

To stem the potential outflow of skilled talent, a growing number of companies are bringing back dot.com-style benefits. The epicenter of this renaissance is Google, which was just named the No. 1 place to work by Fortune. 

It is impossible to gauge the extent to which perks have increased and improved. However, a keyword search for “great perks” on job search website Indeed.com resulted in 6,306 job postings. A search for “unique perks” garnered nearly 2,000 job listings.

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