There are PLENTY of jobs available.
Employers nationwide hire about 4 million people every month according to Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS data. Most of these are replacements for normal turnover.
Using salary data from the US Census Bureau, we prorated this hiring by salary levels:
Most jobs are hidden. At $100k, 75% are hidden. At $300k, 90% are hidden.
On the average, one employer out of 450 every month will hire someone at $300k+ and one out of 1,500 will hire someone at $500k+. These hires are spread across different titles and industries.
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The number of hidden jobs depends on turnover rates - the annual rate at which employees are replaced when they quit, get fired, retire, etc. (the minimum of hires and separations).
Notice in the graph on the right that employers are now replacing 36% of their employees every year.
The point is, there are plenty of jobs available if you know where to look.
Waiting is not required - they're available now.
Turnover rates vary by industry.
For example Construction turnover is very high compared to all others, and will provide more opportunities. Government is the lowest and will provide the fewest opportunities.
These turnover rates give you an idea how "stable" an industry is.
Hidden jobs: about 5% of executives go after the hidden jobs by sending letters to thousands of decision-maker at the same time. Competition is minimal, 85% land a job in less than 90 days, and 50% get multiple job offers when they do it right.
Visible jobs: about 95% of executives compete for visible jobs through networking, recruiters, and job boards. They find one opportunity at a time, competition is extreme, and only 50% land a job in 18 months. Multiple, simultaneous job offers are rare.
Most job-seekers believe they can, and many proudly announce that they got their last job through networking (even though it now takes 18 months on the average - they don't mention that part). In reality however, most of them found out about a visible job through networking - someone else knew about a visible job that they hadn't seen.
Technically, you can find hidden jobs by networking. The problem is, you can't find very many, and it takes a very long time. Finding one or two or even a dozen (a dozen is very unlikely) pales in comparison to saturating your marketplace with letters and making yourself available for all of them at the same time.
Here's how it works:
Most jobs start out hidden and only the decision-maker knows. That job then starts becoming visible the very moment the decision-maker tells someone. For example, a decision-maker might tell a few, who in turn tell others. This is a continuous and gradual process with new hidden jobs being created every day as others become visible.
Employers prefer to get the word out through networking. They avoid the fees of posting the job, and/or the recruiter fees, and can still get hundreds or thousands to apply so they can get the best person at the lowest cost. It's similar to an "auction." In fact, it works so well that most employers advocate networking, and job-seekers soon come to believe that networking is the best approach. The point is, networking is in the best interest of employers, not job-seekers.
The networking landscape has changed.
In the "old days" before the Internet, a hidden job remained hidden for a long time - simply because it took a long time for the word to get out. Back then, networking was indeed the best way to find hidden jobs. Today however, a single "tweet" can make a job visible to thousands in minutes.
If you want to find a job when it's truly hidden and only the decision-maker knows, you'll need to reach the decision-maker before anyone else knows about it. The longer you wait, the more visible it becomes, and the more the competition increases. This is why sending letters works so well - it's an "accident of timing" that can put you in line all by yourself - without any competition.
This is the BLS JOLTS definition of "hiring." We've included it here for your information to support our charts on the top of this page.
Hires are the total number of additions to the payroll occurring at any time during the reference month, including both new and rehired employees, full-time and part-time, permanent, short-term and seasonal employees, employees recalled to the location after a layoff lasting more than 7 days, on-call or intermittent employees who returned to work after having been formally separated, and transfers from other locations.
The hires count does not include transfers or promotions within the reporting site, employees returning from strike, employees of temporary help agencies or employee leasing companies, outside contractors, or consultants working at the sampled establishment. A separate form is used to collect information from temporary help and employee leasing firms for these employees.