seller's market (noun)

A market in which goods are scarce, buyers have a limited range of choice, and prices are high.

buyer's market (noun)

A market in which goods are plentiful, buyers have a wide range of choice, and prices tend to be low.

I am looking for a term that could concisely describe the job market in a way similar to the phrases seller's market and buyer's market.


A I'm not sure if I'll be able to find anther position in this area.

B Don't worry, it's ... [phrase goes here] .

Is there a phrase that would work here?

  • I'm not sure how the two bullet points (above) related to your question but what about the word "auction?"
    – DJohnson
    Sep 29, 2018 at 11:51

4 Answers 4


Just use seller's market.

Seller's market is used in exactly this context and completes your example sentence without difficulty, and there doesn't seem to be any reason given in your question not to use the phrase - other than perhaps a lack of confidence on your part that it does suit.

If you want to clarify, you could say:

Don't worry, it's a seller's market for widget-makers out there.

(The 'out there' is optional.)

Some examples found 'in the wild' follow:

The Job Market Is Turning into a Seller’s Market.
But Do You Know How to Sell Yourself?

..For the first since the dot-com bubble burst in late 2000, the job market is turning into a seller’s market. That’s especially true for well-educated, highly skilled workers...

Or, albeit used with quotes in the body of the text this time:

Employment - Buyer’s Market to a Seller’s Market

Are you struggling to find qualified candidates for your open positions? Do you know anyone else with the same problem? Have you noticed everywhere you look you see “Help Wanted” or “We Are Hiring” signs?

The employment world has changed from a “Buyer’s Market” to a “Seller’s Market”. Candidates can find opportunities much easier today than they could five years ago...


For Node.js talent, it's a seller's market

Job listings for the new JavaScript-based server-side framework have climbed far faster than listings for Ruby, Python, or Java

A sure sign a new software technology has arrived is when it shows up in job listings as a required skill. OpenStack has enjoyed such a rise, and server-side JavaScript framework Node.js has also made steady gains.

According to statistics from job search site Indeed.com, job notices involving Node.js has jumped from zero to 4,000 active listings since 2011...

Use in this context is even in the following dictionary entry's example sentences for seller's market:

###seller's (or sellers') market (phrase)

An economic situation in which goods or shares are scarce and sellers can keep prices high.

All the sellers are going to say this is a seller's market.

The buyer's market for auditors - in which accounting firms cross-sold consulting services and pandered to clients - has been transformed into a seller's market.

It's a seller's market now and there are tremendous opportunities out there.

In a seller's market for skilled workers, employees are more demanding about what they want and less appreciative of what they get.

(The second last example sentence very probably relates to the job market from the jobseeker's perspective too.)


You've already accepted an answer, but the most common phrasing I've heard is labor shortage when it's in favor of the job seeker and labor surplus when it's in favor of the employer. I've heard the latter far less often, but in my opinion it gets the idea across better than trying to reframe the job market as a buyer/seller.

In context:

Person1: I just lost my job!

Person2: Don't worry, there's a labor shortage in your field right now.

This is the phrase frequently used in media right now, for example this very recent CNBC article I found by Googling "labor shortage": https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/05/the-us-labor-shortage-is-reaching-a-critical-point.html


Tight, as in “This is super tight,” (in appropriate context) or “a tight labor/job market.”

My answer can’t be a single word with a link, so here’s an example of usage. Here’s another. And another, and one more.

  • I often get good feedback from downvoters that improves my answers, but this time, I’m mystified. When I posted, this was the only single-word answer to a single-word-request.
    – Davislor
    Sep 30, 2018 at 20:28

It's an "in-demand field".

Responses to

Person A: I'm not sure if I'll be able to find anther position in this area.

may include:

  1. Person B: Don't worry, it's an in-demand field right now.

  2. Person B: Don't worry, that field's in-demand these days.

  3. Person B: Don't worry, it's a highly in-demand field.

  4. Person B: Don't worry, it's a very in-demand field.

Or to be a bit more colorful about it:

Person B: Don't worry about not being in-demand, worry about the legions of head-hunters that'll come after you once you post your resume!

Other qualifiers for "field".

Besides "in-demand", a job field might also be described as:

  1. hot;

    Don't worry, it's a hot field right now.

  2. sought-after;

    Don't worry, it's a highly sought-after field of expertise.

  3. lucrative;

    Don't worry, it's a lucrative field to be in right now.

  4. head-hunted;

    Don't worry, it's a very head-hunted field these days.

  5. desirable [-to-be-in];

    Don't worry, it's very desirable field to be in right now.

  6. highly employable;

    Don't worry, it's a highly employable field of expertise.

  7. underserved.

    Don't worry, it's an underserved field.

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