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How are Job Seekers Feeling Right Now?

Results of our November job seeker survey show "job seeker fatigue" creeping in.

2020 has been the roughest year in many people's lives. Between the pandemic and the election, people are TIRED. We’ve heard of COVID fatigue... 7 months ago we were wiping down groceries, and now even the staunchest COVID compliers have probably dined out or gone to a small gathering lately. And election fatigue... who doesn't have that after waiting 4 days for the results! But what about job seeker fatigue?

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In this month’s infographic, we ask job seekers how they are feeling, how their search is going, and we examine the factors that are contributing to the labor market’s difficulties right now.

State of the Labor Market

23 Million

People are still receiving unemployment assistance

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2.4 Million

Long-term unemployed people (jobless for more than 27 weeks)

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Unemployment rate

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US entering 9th month of recession

*Sources: BLS, PBS

Results of Talroo’s November Job Seeker Survey

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We asked over a thousand job seekers on our Talroo industry network how they are feeling about their job search.

How long have you been
searching for a job?

Chart of job seeker time spent searching for jobs.

How many jobs have you applied for
so far in your job search?

Chart of job seeker application trends.
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While the most common response was “less than one month,” it’s significant to note that over one quarter of respondents have been on the job search for over 4 months.

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While most job seekers have applied for 1-5 positions during their search, over 10% have applied for more than 30 jobs. That’s a stark contrast to the low-unemployment days of early 2020.

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Given these numbers, it’s not surprising that nearly a third of job seekers (30%) have considered pausing their job search until the COVID-19 situation improves.

The changing labor landscape

While there are many companies that need to make hires, and plenty of job seekers that are looking for work, there is not always a match of skillset with need.

Labor Market Shift from Services to Goods

Before the pandemic consumers were...

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Flying and staying at hotels

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Going out to eat

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Going to sporting events or plays

Now consumers are...

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Buying homes

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Buying cars

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Buying appliances

This new demand for goods doesn’t necessarily bode well for the economy, since the US has lost 5,000,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000.

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But there are some bright spots: Amazon has used its considerable resources to upskill its workforce. 30k Amazon employees have already participated in their Career Choice program, which pays 95% of tuition and fees for skills training and credentialing with 85 educational partners, including community colleges.

*** Source: Google Trend

Labor Market Insights™

Throughout the COVID crisis, we’ve brought you some broad national and state trends based on our Insights data as well as data from other sources. In this month’s infographic, we look into job seeker activity trends, and compare urban vs. rural areas.

Despite the unemployment situation, job seeker searches are not as high as one would expect with a high unemployment rate.

Interest over time

*** Source: Google Trend

Chart of job seeker search interest trend over time.

As we’ve discussed in prior infographics, many unemployed people have drawn CARES Act benefits, are taking care of kids at home, or have significant health concerns – all reasons that people may not be prioritizing getting back to work right away, if they can afford to wait.

Talroo Insights™

Talroo’s Insights product can slice and dice data in a variety of ways, as we’ve shown in many previous infographics. This month, as the nation truly shows how divided it currently is, it seemed appropriate to compare the top 10 most Democratic states to the most Republican states.

Chart of job seeker search trends in Democrat vs. Republican states.

Looks like the trends are fairly similar for both groups, with an uptick in job seeker activity in more democratic states from August to October.

Chart of job seeker search trends in urban versus rural areas.

The same pattern holds when we compare urban vs. rural states. While we can’t say for sure what causes the disparity, it could be that urban areas have more job opportunities available. Rural job searches have caught up in the last month however, perhaps due to increased holiday hiring.

What we can say is that “rural” and “republican” show very similar data, and “urban” and “democratic” show very similar data. As we’ve seen in the past week, Americans are on very different pages, but the job market challenges going into 2021 are similar for the entire country.

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For a deeper dive

Visit our previous infographics at talroo.com/resources

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*** Source: Talroo’s Insights business intelligence tool sifted through 6 billion points of data including job postings and job seeker activity from March - November 2020. Insights also provides major and minor job classification data as well as geographic data from the national level to cities and zip codes.