Press Release

Labor Market Survey Shows a Higher Rate of Employer-to-Employer Transitions and an Increase in the Average Wage for Full-Time Offers

September 28, 2018

NEW YORK – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data today released the July 2018 SCE Labor Market Survey, which shows a rise in the employer-to-employer transition rate and an increase in the average full-time offer wage, compared to a year ago. Satisfaction with promotion opportunities improved, while satisfaction with wage compensation retreated slightly from July 2017's level. Regarding expectations, the average expected wage offer (conditional on receiving one) and the average reservation wage—the lowest wage at which respondents would be willing to accept a new job—both increased. There was a small uptick in the average expected likelihood of moving into unemployment over the next four months, and that move was most pronounced for female respondents.

The New York Fed also issued an accompanying blog post that takes a closer look at the link between job transitions and wage increases.

Experiences

  • Among respondents who were employed four months ago, 96.8% were still employed, compared to 93.6% last July. The increase was most notable for older respondents (over age 45) and for females. The rate of transitioning to a different employer rose to 4.7%, from 3.8% in July 2017. This increase was driven by younger respondents (under age 45), lower-educated workers (those without a college degree), and females.
  • After declining over the first half of the year, the proportion of individuals who reported searching for a job in the past four weeks returned to 22%, unchanged from a year ago.
  • 18.8% of individuals reported receiving at least one job offer in the past four months, up slightly from 17.2% in July 2017. This reading reached a series low of 14.9% in March 2018 before recovering in July. The average full-time offer wage received in the past four months increased to $52,590, from $49,250 in July 2017.
  • Among employed respondents, satisfaction with current wage compensation retreated to 58.5%, from 60.0% in July 2017. This decline was most notable for younger respondents (under age 45) and lower-educated workers (those without a college degree). On the other hand, satisfaction with current nonwage benefits edged up to 67.6%, from 67.1% in July 2017.
  • The share of respondents who are satisfied with promotion opportunities at their current job improved to 49.1%, from 44.3% in July 2017. The increase was most notable for lower-educated workers.

Expectations

  • Among those currently employed, expectations regarding job transitions over the next four months were largely unchanged, with the average expected likelihood of remaining with the current employer edging up to 85.7%, from 85.6% in July 2017. The average expected likelihood of moving into unemployment ticked up slightly, to 2.7%, from 2.2% last July. This increase was most notable among female workers.
  • The average expected likelihood of receiving at least one job offer in the next four months edged up to 22.8%, from 22.0% in July 2017. From November 2016 to March 2018 the series was on a downward trend, but this pattern reversed in July 2018.
  • Conditional on expecting an offer, the average expected annual salary of job offers in the next four months increased to $52,905, from $50,790 in July 2017. This series has been on an upward trend in 2018, and the increase from July 2017 was most notable for higher-educated respondents (those with a college degree).
  • The average reservation wage—the lowest wage respondents would be willing to accept for a new job—jumped to $60,196, from $57,964 in July 2017. For reference, the latest reading is slightly above July 2016's level of $59,042. The increase was most pronounced for older workers (above age 45), higher-educated respondents, and males.
  • The average expected likelihood of working beyond age 62 decreased to 52.0%, from 52.3% in July 2017, and remains close to the all-time low of 51.1%, from March 2018. The average expected likelihood of working beyond age 67 also edged down slightly, to 33.0%, from 33.5% in July 2017.

Detailed results are available here.

About the SCE Labor Market Survey

The SCE Labor Market Survey, fielded as part of the Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) since March 2014, provides information on consumers' experiences and expectations regarding the labor market. Every four months, approximately 1,000 SCE panelists are asked details about their current (or most recent) job. Respondents are asked about job transitions, and about their job search effort and outcomes (number of job offers and offer wages), over the last four months. The currently employed are also asked about their level of satisfaction with wages, non-wage benefits, and their prospects for advancement at their current job. In addition, the survey elicits respondents' expectations about job transitions over the next four months. Respondents are asked about the likelihood of receiving at least one job offer over the next four months, the expected number of offers, and the expected wages for these offers. The survey also elicits the respondents' “reservation wage” and retirement expectations.  

More information about the SCE survey goals, design, and content can be found on the webpage for the Center for Microeconomic Data.

Contact
Brian Manning
(212) 720-6143
brian.manning@ny.frb.org