Press Release

Expected Average Offer Wage and Reservation Wage Increase Compared to a Year Ago

August 22, 2022

NEW YORK—The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today released the July 2022 SCE Labor Market Survey, which shows a decline in transitions to a different employer, compared to a year ago. Satisfaction with wage compensation at respondents’ current jobs deteriorated, while satisfaction with nonwage benefits and promotion opportunities improved. Regarding expectations, the average expected likelihood of receiving an offer in the next four months declined. The average expected wage offer (conditional on receiving one) as well as the average reservation wage—the lowest wage at which respondents would be willing to accept a new job—increased year-over-year. Expectations regarding job transitions improved. 

Experiences

  • Among those who were employed four months ago, 91.8% were still employed, unchanged from last July. The rate of transitioning to a different employer declined to 4.1% from 5.9% in July 2021. This decline was most pronounced for women and for respondents with annual household incomes less than $60,000.
  • The proportion of individuals who reported searching for a job in the past four weeks increased to 24.7% from 24.0% in July 2021. The increase was driven by respondents younger than age 45 and those with a college degree.
  • 21.1% of individuals reported receiving at least one job offer in the past four months, up from 18.7% in July 2021. Since last July, the series has been trending up towards pre-pandemic levels. The average full-time offer wage received in the past four months also increased to $60,764 from $58,469 in July 2021.
  • Satisfaction with nonwage benefits and with promotion opportunities at respondents’ current jobs improved by 0.6 and 3.0 percentage points to 63.2% and 49.5%, respectively, while satisfaction with wage compensation retreated to 56.9% from 58.2% in July 2021.

Expectations

  • The expected likelihood of moving to a new employer increased to 11.0%, from 10.3% in July 2021, while the average expected likelihood of moving to unemployment declined to 2.3% from 2.5%. The decline in the expected likelihood of moving to unemployment was most pronounced for women.
  • The average expected likelihood of receiving at least one job offer in the next four months retreated slightly to 21.1% from 21.6% in July 2021, remaining below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Conditional on expecting an offer, the average expected annual salary of job offers in the next four months increased to $60,310 from $57,206 in July 2021, reaching the second highest reading of the series. The highest reading was recorded in March 2021.
  • The average reservation wage—the lowest wage respondents would be willing to accept for a new job—continued its upward annual trend and reached $72,873 from $68,954 in July 2021. The series recorded its highest reading of $73,283 in March 2022, and then slightly retreated in July 2022. The year-over-year increase was most pronounced for younger (below age 45) respondents, college graduates, and men.
  • The average expected likelihood of working beyond age 62 ticked down to 48.8% from 50.1% in July 2021, the lowest reading since the start of the series in March 2014. The series has been on a downward trend since November 2020. The average expected likelihood of working beyond age 67 also declined to 31.3% from 32.4% in July 2021.

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
Mariah Measey
(347) 978-3071
Mariah.Measey@ny.frb.org 

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