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Three-in-Five Workers Who Were Laid Off in the Last Year Found New Jobs, According to CareerBuilder Survey

  • Majority of Workers Finding Jobs in New Fields
  • One-Third of Workers Relocating to Get Hired
  • Men More Likely to Find Employment Than Women
  • Workers Age 55 and Older the Least Likely to Find Jobs
  • Less Workers Taking a Pay Cut for New Positions


CHICAGO – May 10, 2011 – Better economic conditions and a more optimistic U.S. employer base have more people back to work. Fifty-nine percent of workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last year reported they found new positions, up from 55 percent last year. The amount of workers who took jobs in different fields from where they previously worked rose from 48 percent last year to 60 percent in the 2011 survey, reflecting a growing trend where workers are re-educating and/or re-packaging skill sets to appeal to a broader set of employers. More than 900 workers who were laid off in the last year participated in the study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 21 to March 10, 2011.


Of the workers who were laid off in the last year and found new jobs, 90 percent found full-time positions while 10 percent found part-time work.

“While the job market remains highly competitive, opportunities are opening up across all industries and job levels,” said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen workers, out of necessity, cast a wider net and discover new career paths they may never have considered pre-recession. New talent is flowing in and out of industries as workers apply their skills sets to new occupations.”

Employers Rehiring Laid Off Employees
Employers are in a better financial position today than one year ago and are gradually increasing staff levels to meet growing market demands. Thirty-one percent of laid off workers reported they were hired back by their previous employer.

Pay Prospects Getting Better
Fewer laid off workers reported pay cuts with their new positions. While 43 percent of laid off workers took a job with less pay, this is a significant improvement from 54 percent in last year’s survey. Twenty-three percent found a job with more pay than their previous position, up from 18 percent last year.

Men More Likely to Find Jobs Post-Layoff
Men reported a higher incidence of finding employment, according to the survey. Sixty-three percent of men who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last year found new positions, compared to 50 percent of women.

Mature Workers Facing Greater Job Hunting Challenges
Mature workers continued to report more challenges in finding employment after a layoff than other age groups. Workers age 55 or older had the lowest incidence of finding new employment opportunities at 36 percent. Workers age 25 to 34 had the highest incidence of landing new jobs at 78 percent.

Moving Where the Opportunities Are
One-third of workers had to expand their job search geographically in order to secure an opportunity. Of those workers who were laid off in the last year and found new jobs, 33 percent relocated to a new city or state. Of those who haven’t found new jobs yet, 34 percent reported they would consider relocating for a position.

Starting Their Own Business
As job prospects improve, fewer laid off workers are considering entrepreneurship. Of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and haven’t found new jobs, 22 percent are considering starting their own business, down from 33 percent last year.

Rasmussen recommends the following job hunting tips for 2011:

1. Keep an open mind. The majority of laid off workers who found new jobs landed opportunities in entirely different areas. Check out job postings in different industries and fields to see where you can transition your skill sets and write several versions of your resume to appeal to a wider range of employers.

2. Re-train and re-tool. Consider returning to the classroom to increase your marketability in hot industries whether it’s for a degree or certification or stand-alone course. For example, if you’re interested in technology, check out Cisco Certifications for IT networking careers.

3. Build your personal brand. Use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to make connections and promote your personal brand across the Internet. Launch a blog or networking group to establish thought leadership and showcase your communications skills.

4. Stay positive. Don’t focus on the hardships associated with being unemployed in your communications with an employer. Focus on what you learned from the experience and how that makes you a stronger candidate for the employer.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 920 full-time U.S. workers laid off in past 12 months (non-government, ages 18 and over) between February 21 and March 10, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of U.S. employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 920, 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.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 40 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
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(E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com