Express Employment Professionals recently released results from a new Harris Poll of the unemployed, which, for the third year in a row, shows a significant number of Americans have completely given up looking for work.
Forty-three percent of those surveyed said they have completely given up looking for work. For those unemployed more than two years, the percentage of individuals giving up on the job hunt increased to 59% from 2015.
Results were based on a May 2016 survey of 1,513 jobless Americans, age 18 and older, who are unemployed but capable of working.
Who Are the Unemployed?
According to the survey, 55% of the unemployed are men; 45 % are women; and 33% are between ages 18 and 29.
The majority lack a college degree:
- 38% received a high school diploma
- 22% attended college, but did not receive a degree
- 13% hold a bachelor’s degree
Of those with at least a college degree, 52% indicated they wish they had focused on a vocational career such as automotive technology, electrician, plumber, HVAC specialist, dental assisting, or medical assisting. If you find yourself thinking about a vocational career, Express published a white paper, “Caution: College May Not Be For Everyone,” that takes an in-depth look at career technical education, and compares its benefits to a traditional bachelor’s degree.
Inspiration from Thomas Edison
American Inventor and businessman Thomas A. Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
If you are among the unemployed, it can be a frightening time. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates there are 5.8 million open jobs. When re-entering the workforce, it’s important to be honest about resume gaps and be open to the idea that you might need to look for a career path in a different industry.
You can always take advantage of the time you have to read, volunteer, or continue your education. Use your time to work on your resume, polish your skills, and heed Edison’s advice. Try sending out one more resume a day, applying for one more job per week, and calling on your network to see if they know of open jobs.
Resources to Find Work
The 2016 survey on the “State of the Unemployed” indicates that unemployment is becoming a chronic condition. More than half, 51%, reported they haven’t been on a job interview since 2014.
According to the study, the unemployed reported they are putting in an average of only 11.7 hours per week looking for work. Recruiters, however, will often tell you that a job seeker needs to spend more time looking for a job.
In today’s online world, there are numerous sources that you can use to enhance your job search. Job boards such as Monster or Indeed.com provide valuable listings. Also, company websites often list open jobs. And, there are valuable websites that help enhance your job search, as well as offer resume tips.
You can also use a staffing company, like Express Employment Professionals, to help you find work. According to the American Staffing Association, more than 3 million temporary and contract employees work for staffing companies during an average week. And, during the course of a year, American staffing companies hire nearly 16 million temporary and contract employees.
If you have found yourself unemployed, what motivates you to continue your job search? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.