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After a tremendous amount of instability over the past couple of years, demand for workers is up and many businesses are hoping to retain their employees. That feat has seemingly become more difficult as some 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, a sign American workers are looking for better opportunities and pay.

If you've considered requesting a raise or negotiating a job offer, now is the time to do so, experts say. Employers are expected to increase average salaries by about 3% going into 2022.

The last time employees had this level of bargaining power was two decades ago, said Bill Dixon, managing director at Pearl Meyer, a national compensation consulting company.

In the recent pandemic-induced recession, layoffs and closures left many employees feeling grateful for a job. Now, with greater consumer spending, companies growing, and an economic resurgence, workers are in greater demand.

"With that comes a kind of a bidding war," Dixon said. "People are finding more kinds of opportunities, they're seeing an opportunity to move where they want to go, and make what they were making before."

"I think it's just a very unique time," he added.

Also, many companies review pay at the end of the year to implement changes in the first quarter, meaning workers there should ask for meetings now, Dixon said.

Dixon said thanks to social media and the Internet, there has never before been this much information about pay at workers' fingertips.

"You're in charge of your career," Dixon said. "You need to know your value and what you're worth in the marketplace, and use that information to get an equitable pay structure for you."

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