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Half of Workers Who Were Laid Off in the Last Three Months Found Jobs, According to a New CareerBuilder Survey


CHICAGO.- Despite it being one of the most challenging hiring environments in the nation’s history, 41 percent of workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last three months reported they found a new full-time, permanent position while another 8 percent found part-time work. This is according to a survey from CareerBuilder that included 807 workers who were laid off from full-time jobs within the last 12 months. The survey was conducted between February 20 and March 11, 2009.

“This is encouraging news for the 3.3 million workers who have lost their jobs in recent months,” said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. “It’s going to take longer to find a job in today’s market, but there are opportunities out there in key areas such as healthcare, government, education, sales and technology. It’s important to devote five hours or more to your job search every day, check online listings, talk to recruiters, join social networking sites - use all the resources you have available to you.”

Comparing Gender and Age
More men than women who were laid off in the last 12 months were able to find full-time employment - 59 percent of men compared to 49 percent of women. Comparing age brackets, workers ages 35 to 44 were the most likely to find full-time jobs after a layoff at 68 percent. Workers ages 18 to 24 were the least likely at 41 percent, followed by 46 percent of workers age 55 and older.

Severance and Long-term Savings
The financial implications of job loss were significant for affected workers. Of those workers who were laid off in the last 12 months, only 32 percent received a severance package from their employers. Sixty-nine percent reported the severance sustained them for 2 months or less. One-in-four said it sustained them for less than one month. Forty-five percent of workers who were laid off in the last year had to tap into long-term savings as a result of losing their jobs.

Impact on Pay and Hours
Workers reported taking pay reductions and adjusting hours to keep a steady paycheck. Nearly half of workers (49 percent) who were laid off in the last 12 months and landed new positions took a job with less pay; 15 percent were able to negotiate higher compensation. One-in-five (20 percent) took a job with less hours while 12 percent took on more hours.

Workers said they are expanding their job search beyond their own backyard. Thirteen percent of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and found jobs relocated to a new city or state. Of those who are still looking for employment, 39 percent reported they would consider relocating for a job opportunity.

Transferring Skills to Other Industries and Fields
Workers reported they are repackaging their resumes for new areas of employment. Thirty-eight percent of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and landed new positions said they found work in a different field from where they were previously employed. Seventy percent of these workers said they really enjoy the new opportunity. Of those workers who are still job hunting, 44 percent are looking for work outside of their profession.

Starting a Business
A highly competitive job market is motivating some workers to be their own boss. One-in-four workers (25 percent) who have not found jobs are considering starting their own business.

Rasmussen recommends the following tips:

* Keep an open mind : make a list of your current skills and look at a variety of job postings inside and outside your field to see how they measure up to the job requirements. You may be able to fill in gaps through an online certification or even through volunteering, which employers do regard as relevant experience.

* Go beyond the basics: Ask a graphic designer to help you with your resume to make it eye-catching. Show off your skills with a digital portfolio of your work or follow-up with an opinion on a relevant article or industry news item after your interview.

* Relentlessly use social media: Get on professional and social networking sites, Twitter or write your own blog to create a recognizable personal brand online and connect with industry insiders. Create a Facebook group of your own and invite recruiters and hiring managers to join.

* Make yourself searchable: Make sure to include keywords from the employer’s job posting in your resume and cover letter, so your application shows up closer to the top in employer searches.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder between February 20 and March 11, 2009 among 807 U.S. workers ages 18 and over who have been laid off in the past 12 months from a full-time position (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of these U.S. workers, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 807, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.


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