Should you change jobs when the stock market is down and inflation is at a 40-year high?


For the past year, job seekers have thrived in a ripe labor market, securing higher pay and better benefits across various industries

However, certain indicators suggest that this period may be coming to a close. Inflation is at a 40-year high, eating up some of the wage gains workers made over the past year, and earlier this month the stock market entered bear territory. A poll released on June 30 from The New York Times found that 52% of the 5,432 adults surveyed said they are worse off financially than they were a year ago. These signs have many experts and economists bracing for a recession

But Nick Bunker, head of economic research at the jobs platform Indeed, said it’s still a good time to consider a new gig. Wages are continuing to increase, job openings are close to a record high, and unemployment is still low. But he said job seekers should proceed with caution. 

“The outlook isn’t as rosy as it was a couple of months ago,” Bunker told Insider. “Now, people should think things through a little bit.”  

It can be hard to make sense of the economy, along with the personal factors that go into career decisions like pay, benefits, flexibility, and fulfillment. Insider spoke to experts to understand what the current economy means for the Great Resignation

How to job-hop responsibly 

Lindsey Pollak, a career coach and the author of “Recalculating: Navigate Your Career Through the Changing World of Work,” said there’s no harm in looking for other opportunities. Especially in times of economic uncertainty, it’s important to keep your network active to find connections who can help you in the worst-case scenario of losing your job. 

“Control what you can — what you can control is staying in touch with your network and reaching out to people,” Pollak told Insider.  

Bunker encourages job seekers to look down the line when considering a new opportunity. If the company you’re interested in joining has laid off employees recently, new hires could be at risk if another round of layoffs comes around. 

“How solid do you feel about your current employer versus somewhere else?” Bunker said. “Do you think you’ll be able to get somewhere where you have similar stability?” 

Additionally, making the decision to switch jobs also depends on what industry you’re in, Bunker said. Some tech companies have already cut staff, while finance and investment banking are also facing cutbacks, especially in the housing sector.

However, Bunker said essential industries like healthcare are resilient in economic downturns. If you can find a position in a stable sector, job-hopping can help you secure higher pay to ride out the


Lastly, larger companies usually fare better in tumultuous times, Bunker added. 

When will job-hopping slow down? 

Experts still say job-hopping is a good move under the right circumstances, but workers should observe unemployment rates when deciding whether or not to stay at their current employers, Bunker said.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate held at 3.6% in May — in 2022, the rate has remained near a five-decade low. But if that starts to change, Bunker said job seekers should take that as an indication to stay put.

Pollak also emphasized there are lots of ways to be resilient and there are always opportunities in times of change. 

“I take comfort in knowing that we’ve been through some of this before,” said Pollak, referring to the 2008 recession. “The economy has ups and downs, some very high ups and some very low downs.”


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