Laid off workers continue to be resilient, even as the economy is slow to improve. According to a new survey by CareerBuilder completed in June, 48 percent of workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last three months have found new full-time positions; up from 41 percent in March. An additional three percent found part-time positions; down from 8 percent in the previous survey. The CareerBuilder survey was conducted among 921 workers who were laid off from full-time jobs within the last 12 months.
"Despite a challenging job market, workers have been able to find employment opportunities in a variety of fields," said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. "Even though the number of workers who took part-time positions is tracking below last quarter, the number who found full-time jobs is notably higher. This is a positive indication that more workers who were laid off from full-time jobs were able to replace them with new full-time positions instead of taking part-time work as an interim measure to generate income. Part of this job search success is related to workers expanding career options to new industries and locations."
Changes in Pay
Looking at workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and found new jobs, more than half (56 percent) reported they were able to negotiate comparable or higher pay for their new positions. Forty-four percent of workers took a pay cut, down from 49 percent in March.
Transferring Skills to Other Industries and Fields
Workers reported they are applying their skills to new areas. Similar to the last survey, 38 percent of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and landed new jobs said they found work in a different field than where they were previously employed. Of those workers, the majority said they really enjoy their new positions.
Workers are no longer just looking for positions in their own backyards. One-in-five workers (20 percent) who were laid off in the last 12 months and found jobs relocated to a new city or state; up from 13 percent in March. Of those who are still looking for employment, 44 percent reported they would consider relocating for a job opportunity; up from 39 percent in March.
Starting a Business
An increased number of job seekers have adopted an "if you can't find a job, create one" way of thinking. Nearly three-in-ten workers (29 percent) who have not found jobs are considering starting their own business; up from 25 percent in March.
The competition for a smaller number of jobs is driving some workers to alter their everyday appearances in hopes of making a stronger impression. More than a quarter (28 percent) of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months said they have changed their appearance to make themselves more attractive to potential employers. Fourteen percent said they have lost weight, 8 percent have changed their hair color or hairstyle, and 5 percent are dressing to appear younger. Teeth whitening, enhanced makeup, and cosmetic procedures were also cited.
Comparing genders, both men and women indicated making changes to their appearances in hopes of appealing to potential employers, at 26 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 921 U.S. workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last 12 months ages 18 and over between May 22 and June 10, 2009 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 921, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 3.23 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.