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Survey data: what job seekers expect in the new normal

CareerBuilder | April 27, 2021

2021 job seeker priorities

Here's what job seekers expect to get back to work, what remote work looks like and who’s doing it, and the importance of diversity in hiring.

CareerBuilder surveyed 2,200 workers in early 2021 about their employment status and goals, as well as their takes on topics like remote work and diversity in hiring. Here are key insights into what job seekers like you are facing.

Who is still impacted by pandemic job loss?

Even with vaccine rollouts and gradual economic recovery, pandemic-related job loss continues to have a major impact on specific and disproportionately affected worker groups.

- 10% pay cut to rejoin the workforce: this is what a third of overall respondents, 45% of Black Americans and 49% of unemployed women said they would accept in order to be employed.

- 34% of women resigned or reduced work hours due to personal responsibilities, including caregiving and schooling; non-white women were the most impacted.

- Women are driving work from home: 22% said they would turn down a job that didn’t offer it (compared to 13% of men) and 36% of women applied to a job outside their geographic region based on remote work expectations (compared to 27% of men).

- But work from home isn’t playing out equally across race: 67% of Black and Hispanic women stated they had not applied to a job outside of their geographic region. Just 18% of Black Americans would turn down a job if it didn’t allow a work from home option.

- 26% of 18-24-year-olds said they’d turn down a job if it didn’t offer a remote work option. Of that same age group, nearly half (49%) have applied for a job outside of their geographic region with expectations of future work from home flexibility.

How popular is work from home?

- A quarter of job seekers would actually turn down a job offer if it did not allow a work from home option in the current environment.

- A third of job seekers have applied for a job outside of their geographic region with the expectation they would be able to work from home.

Women are significantly more likely to indicate that they would turn down a job if they couldn't work from home. Plus, white and Asian respondents were significantly more likely to indicate they had applied outside their geographic area than members of other racial or ethnic groups, while Black and Latino respondents were significantly less so.

Is diversity important to job seekers?

- 5x as many women report feeling discriminated against due to their gender as compared to men.

- Among all respondents, almost half said they have felt discriminated against in some way in the workplace (46%) or in the hiring process (46%).

- 61% of job seekers said that a potential employer’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is either “very important” or “extremely important” when determining whether to work there.

While overall more than half of job seekers value an employer’s commitment to diversity, there are varying degrees among major demographic groups. Black respondents were significantly more likely to indicate that a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion was either "very important" or "extremely important," while white respondents were more likely to indicate that a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion was of "low-" or "moderate importance."

The pandemic has exacerbated longstanding problems and produced new ones. It's changed the way we work. But don't get overwhelmed. Knowing what you're facing is half the battle. And if you're feeling the pressure in your job search, we can help you destress.