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'Now is the best time to ask for a raise' or switch jobs: Economist

Now is the time to hit your boss up for a raise — or even look for a new job, says one economist. 

"Worker power is so high right now. That leverage is there because of the tight labor market," Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao told Yahoo Finance Live. "Demand for workers is still red hot."

"Now is a good time to ask for that raise or to even ask for more benefits or more flexibility in the work arrangements,"said Zhao. "Employers right now are not just raising wages, they're also throwing everything in the kitchen sink at offering new benefits or experimenting with new perks."

The economy added a disappointing 194,000 jobs last month, far below the more than 500,000 expected. Labor supply shortages have forced employers to raise wages in order to attract talent. 

"Quite frankly, if your employer is not willing to meet you where you are and what you want, then right now, there are other opportunities out there," said Zhao. 

"Like, the grass is actually greener. And so, I would just encourage job seekers and employees alike to consider whether now's the right time to ask for a raise or to look for a new job," he added.

Unemployment ticked lower to 4.8% percent in September. However, that drop came alongside an unexpected drop in the labor force participation.

Zhao says some of the lower participation trends may be structural such as aging of the population and more workers retiring. The other reason has to do with COVID specific challenges. 

"Many women have had to leave the workforce and have to stay out of it because they're taking care of kids or taking care of elderly family members," said Zhao. "That's a challenge that we saw in September in particular, where women's labor force participation dropped, as school re-openings were disrupted."

Zhao expects to see some of those factors ease as the threat of COVID and its variants subsides.

"This is something we've been saying for the last year and a half— we need to get the pandemic under control in order to make sure that we have a full labor market recovery" he added. 

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