Your Earnings Outlook: Improved

Commuters on train

Today’s employment data is good news for job hunters. The jobless rate dropped to 7.8%, the lowest it’s been since early 2009.

If you’re looking for work, now you need reliable salary data for your target job, so you can negotiate the best package. Three ways to play salary detective:

    1. Check the job sites.,, and let you look up salaries in your field. Just remember that the free data on these sites may not be as accurate as the premium, paid data.


    1. Reach out to a recruitment company or headhunter, says Danielle Paletz of iQuestPartners, an executive search firm. Ideally, you’d talk to someone who specialized in your field. If they don’t have the right recruiter, ask for a referral.


  1. Trust—but verify. Quora is a great place to post questions—and get answers—from smart professional around the country. And of course, tap your social networks.

Talking to your peers will give you considerations beyond salary alone. “A real person can tell you, ‘The salary at this company is $X—but I love this about the team’,” says Lauren Milligan from ResuMAYDAY. “A website can never tell you that.”

Out of the Box
The employment data for September marks the 24th straight month that jobs have been added to the economy. Since 2010, the private sector has added 5 million new jobs.


Take stock. How do you get comps on your compensation?

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