Career expert: 'Now is the best time to ask for a raise'

American workers have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating, according to one economist.

“Now is the best time to ask for a raise or to even look for a new job,” Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao recently told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “The leverage is there because of the tight labor market.”

Workers shouldn’t stop there, Zhao said. The labor market is ripe for employees to ask for perks like raises, more benefits, or flexible work arrangements because their wishes might be granted.

“[Employers are] throwing everything in the kitchen sink,” he said, and “are willing to actually meet workers where they are.”

In August, almost 4.3 million Americans — or 2.9% of workers — voluntarily quit their jobs, according to the Labor Department’s latest JOLTS report, the highest quits rate on record. Accommodation and food services along with retail trade had some of the highest quit rates.

Although the pandemic has pushed some older Americans out of professional life and into retirement, Zhao explained the benefit of a tight labor market means a more expansive workforce with the inclusion of typically underrepresented populations like people with disabilities or those with a criminal history.

It also means more bargaining chips for workers.

But if your requests are rebuffed or unmet, Zhao recommends taking your talents elsewhere. There were 10.4 million job openings in August — the latest data available — which was slightly down from July. New hires came in at 6.3 million.

“Quite frankly, if your employer is not willing to meet you where you are and what you want,” he said, "then there are other opportunities out there and the grass is actually greener.”

Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Money. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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