Since the employment fiasco of 2008, the job market has slowly become more lucrative. Employees may finally get the raise they’ve been waiting on, and job seekers could possibly earn the salaries that they really want. However, getting that salary or promotion still has a gray area.

With the job market opening up, CNN reports that current employees are weighing their options and leaving stagnant positions to pursue better employment opportunities. This leaves the short-term unemployed open to more options and the long-term unemployment numbers decreasing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have been unemployed for over 27 weeks decreased from over 45 percent in 2010 to 31 percent in 2015.

The short-term unemployed are also finding jobs in a quicker amount of time than their six-month countdown. Chicago’s minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour this summer and continuously increase to $13 per hour by 2019. Employees who may have been worried about minimum wage standards already stand to gain more than the minimum $8.25 per hour from last year.

For salary rates higher than the new minimum wage amount, corporate personalities are a big part of the final decision. Business News Daily suggests promoted employees are most likely to be the people person, the delegator, the ethical employee, the adapter and the decider.

U.S. News confirmed that at least 38 percent have already gotten the raise they wanted without asking for it. However, 57 percent still haven’t asked for a raise or promotion for fear of being considered pushy or feeling uncomfortable for initiating the conversation. According to the report, the biggest mistake would be for employees to wait until they’re unhappy with their jobs, then request a raise. Less than 20 percent actually got the raise that way. On the contrary, almost half of 41 percent of satisfied employees did get their requested raise.

New job seekers who start the application process with the salary they want instead of lowering their expectations tend to be those with the best negotiation power. Although asking about the pay rates is still frowned upon unless the hiring manager makes it known, once the job offer is set, Monster gives 10 tips for negotiating a salary. These salary tips may help new employees avoid being those same unhappy, underpaid employees in 2016.

Shamontiel L. Vaughn is a professional journalist who has work featured in AXS, Yahoo!, Chicago Defender and Chicago Tribune. She’s been an Examiner since 2009 and currently writes about 10 categories on