Vacancy numbers for jobs requiring different qualifications.
Vacancy numbers for jobs requiring different qualifications.

How to get rich quick in 2021

How to get rich in 2021? We're not talking about bitcoin. Certainly not Dogecoin. And not about flipping real estate either. This is something much more common, but also something people find really hard. Changing jobs.

You might have thought the tail end of a pandemic is a bad time to change jobs, and I can see the logic. But logic has been blown out of the water by the latest data.

Employers are desperate for staff. The Federal Government's official vacancies report just came out and it shows that the number of jobs without a person to fill them has risen to its highest level since 2008 - before the global financial crisis.

RELATED: 'Flashing red': Ominious sign for Australia

Job vacancies in Australia are at their highest since 2008.
Job vacancies in Australia are at their highest since 2008.

The labour market is ravenous for workers, making it a great time to be looking for a job.

The number of empty jobs is up across all places, all skill levels, and almost all industries.

Australia is seeking unusually high numbers of new workers. Demand is crazy strong for veterinarians, house cleaners, baristas and psychologists, for example.

The next graph shows the kind of workers demand is strongest for. If you have a bachelor's degree you're in the sweet spot, and if you have a Certificate II or III, good news: You are also in hot demand.

RELATED: Couple turned $60,000 into $20 million

 

A bachelor’s degree is the most in demand qualification in Australia right now.
A bachelor’s degree is the most in demand qualification in Australia right now.

The benefits of changing jobs

Changing jobs is good. Frightening, but like many leaps into the unknown, good for you. There's two key pieces of evidence for this.

The first one is that people who change jobs make more money than people who stay put. You make more money if you're not loyal to your employer. This is true even when you control for the fact that people who change jobs might be better employees than those who stay put.

The evidence for this goes back to a seminal US study in the early 1990s and applies across countries. The effect is strong enough that you can even see evidence of it in the national wage data.

The Treasury observed that when people change jobs more, average national wages rise faster. Job shifters get the biggest benefit, but some of those wage rises flow over to the workers who stayed put too, perhaps because their employers are worried about losing them.

"In Australia, job switching also appears to be an important source of wage growth for some individuals: As noted earlier, those who switch jobs in a given year typically experience higher wage growth than those who stay," Treasury said in 2019.

RELATED: Four jobs that cash in at tax time

Moving jobs is a good opportunity to get more cash. Picture: iStock
Moving jobs is a good opportunity to get more cash. Picture: iStock

Now, I'm not saying you should quit your job without another one lined up - unemployment is still high, there's competition for these jobs. There's a risk of ending up stuck unemployed for a while. But if you leave your job it will open up that job and maybe it will be filled by an unemployed job seeker.

Money can't buy me love

But this is not just about the money. It's also about living a better life.

Do you ever find yourself watching the clock at work? I mean, everyone does sometimes. But do you start watching the clock in the morning? And do you feel crushing gloom on Sunday night? If you're bored or unhappy at work, you should almost certainly change. Crack open your preferred job advertisement website and see what your options are. You might be surprised how many avenues are out there, and the research says it could make you much happier.

An academic study run in America recruited 20,000 people who were struggling with an important life change, and asked them to flip a coin. If they got heads they stuck with what they were already doing, if they got tails, they were told to change.

"For important decisions (e.g. quitting a job or ending a relationship), individuals who are told by the coin toss to make a change are more likely to make a change, more satisfied with their decisions, and happier six months later than those whose coin toss instructed maintaining the status quo. This finding suggests that people may be excessively cautious when facing life-changing choices," the paper said.

If your job sucks, you don't have to stay in it. Remember: Not all jobs are bad. And even if your new job sucks it might do so in interesting ways that help you learn something. All in all the change is likely to do you good.

Jason Murphy is an economist | @jasemurphy. He is the author of the book Incentivology.

Originally published as How to get rich quick in 2021



Police ‘find marijuana’ after push bike crash

Premium Content Police ‘find marijuana’ after push bike crash

Emergency services were called to Gladstone Central on Tuesday afternoon.

Woman spat at nightclub patrons after being kicked out

Premium Content Woman spat at nightclub patrons after being kicked out

Emily Hampton pleaded guilty to two charges.

Gladstone man granted work licence after drug-drive offence

Premium Content Gladstone man granted work licence after drug-drive offence

Shawn Johnson admitted to smoking cannabis before driving.