Looking for a job isn’t easy—especially when you’ve been laid off from a recent position, or haven’t been in the workforce for a while (because of injury, children, etc).
Some folks can go weeks or even months searching for work to no avail. Others aren’t even able to get an interview. It’s understandable that those fed up with the struggle might be tempted to give up.
Survey of the Unemployed
In a Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals, we found Illinois has the highest percentage of respondents who have “completely given up,” at 44%, while 33% of total respondents have given up nationally. Ohio, on the other hand, has the lowest percentage at 25%.
However, these same respondents were still hopeful. When asked if they agree with the statement, “I’m hopeful that I will find a job I really want in the next six months,” Oklahoma respondents were the most hopeful, with 95% agreeing with the statement to some degree. Florida ranked last with 74% expressing hopefulness.
Unemployment is still a huge problem, even though the national average is relatively low. The average duration of unemployment varies from state to state. The unemployed in Oklahoma report being out of work for an average of 19.8 months, while the unemployed in Florida report 33.1 months. The national average is 23.5 months.
People give up looking for work for a variety of reasons. In the Harris Poll, we asked “Why have you given up looking for a job?”
We received many responses to this question, including:
- I decided to stay home and take care of the kids.
- Ageism in the application process prevents me from getting a job even when I do get an interview.
- Employers want experienced candidates, but I can’t get experience without a job.
- I’m unable to perform heavy labor, and that’s all that’s available in my area.
- I’ve been out of the workforce for too long and nobody wants to employ me.
- I don’t have the education level required by employers.
- I’m tired of getting rejected over and over again.
- Because there aren’t any jobs available in my area.
- I have a disability or injury that doesn’t allow me to perform most jobs.
- I have a criminal record.
- I’m taking care of a sick relative.
How to Stick With It
How can you keep looking for a job, even in the face of such adversity?
If you can, try to form a support group. Find friends or relatives who are going through similar job search issues as you, and vent. Knowing you’re not alone can make the job search much easier.
If that doesn’t work? Consider a recruiting service. Even if you can’t find anything out there for your specific situation (whether it’s your age, experience, or a disability), recruiting services can. Because of their connections to local businesses, recruiters know about jobs you might never hear about or jobs that were never publicly posted.
Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S. and Canada and can help out with these kinds of problems. After all, we employed a record 510,000 people in 2016!