2013 Named ‘The Year of the Unemployed Worker’

National survey reveals the voice of the job seeker, their confidence levels and what HR professionals say to expect in 2014

Nexxt announced results from a comprehensive national survey of unemployed Americans to illustrate their experience looking for work in 2013 and determine their confidence for finding employment in the year ahead. HR Professionals were included among those surveyed, answering questions on hiring trends for 2014 and what those out of work should prepare for in the impending job market.

The survey, which included more than 2,300 responses from unemployed in various industries, found that although almost 80% of respondents had applied to jobs multiple times a week in 2013, fewer than 15% of them were able to secure more than 5 interviews for the year and a shocking amount of respondents (33%) said they had none at all. Despite this lack of actual interviews, the applications for employment were steady, with over half of those surveyed (52%) reporting they applied to over 20 jobs in 2013, and 87% saying they planned to apply more frequently in 2014.

“With millions of Americans still searching for jobs, the unemployed are working to find work, making 2013, The Year of the Unemployed Worker,” said Joe Weinlick, VP of Marketing at Nexxt. “Finding employment in today’s market requires focus, persistence and unwavering confidence; qualities that can be difficult to maintain with so much competition. This survey shows the voice of the job seeker – the journey of different generations over the past year and their feelings on success in the year ahead.”

Despite an overall wariness of the stability in the job market, determination and optimism was evident among all respondents, with the majority of unemployed (89%) confident they will find a job in 2014 and 36% confident they will find the right job. While this confidence carried across all generations, Baby Boomers proved the least confident they would find a job, with 24% responding they didn’t believe they would find employment in 2014. The unemployed from that generation, whose retirement was delayed in large part by the Recession, applied to the most jobs in 2013 – 57% applying to 20 or more, and 33% applying to over 50 positions last year alone.

With confident job seekers applying for the same positions in greater numbers, the strain was evident on HR Professionals. Among those surveyed, while 63% reported that they had hired new people in 2013, most HR Professionals (65%) felt that it will be harder to find quality talent in 2014. When questioned why they believed the new year might bring new challenges, 76% of HR respondents cited a “lack of relevant experience” among their candidates and 50% reported that it was simply difficult to hire “established professionals.”

Nexxt dug further into the generational data from the survey to determine why certain generations felt they were not getting hired. Among the responses, Gen X job seekers were most likely to blame a “weak economy” (62%) for their lack of employment, Gen Y (the often-reported Millennial Generation) was most likely to cite a “lack of work experience” (55%), and Baby Boomers were most likely to blame “age discrimination” (64%) for why they’re not getting the job. Putting generations aside, the majority of all respondents (52%) felt that the weak economy was to blame for not finding a job, and 27% felt that companies simply weren’t spending enough money to find candidates.

Other interesting findings from the Nexxt survey included:

  • Members of the Millennial Generation were the least likely to be granted interviews, with 45% responding that they didn’t have any in 2013. A reason for this may be the intense competition for the same positions, as 44% of Millennials in the survey identified themselves as being “entry-level” employees
  • HR Professionals reported that the most common activities to increase chances of employment were to search for jobs online – which they said most do already, though not extensively enough
  • A majority (55%) of survey respondents reported they plan to network with friends and colleagues more frequently in 2014
  • Despite the overall confidence in respondents that they’ll eventually get a job, 65% believe the process will be harder in the year ahead. Furthermore, the longer someone had been looking for a job, the more likely they are to believe it will be harder to land one – of those who had been looking for over a year, 76% believe it will be more difficult to find steady employment in 2014.

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

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