Express Employment Professionals released results from a new poll of unemployed Americans showing a greater sense of optimism about the future among the unemployed.
The national survey of 1,500 jobless Americans age 18 and older between March 14 and April 6, 2017 was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express and offers a detailed, in-depth look at the background and attitudes of the unemployed.
According to the survey, 33 percent agree with the statement, “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job.” While still a startling number, it is a notable improvement compared to previous years, with 43 percentsaying they had “given up” in 2016, 40 percentin 2015 and 47percent in 2014 reporting the same.
In addition, more of the unemployed expressed hopefulness than in years past. Ninety-two percent agree with the statement, “I’m hopeful that I will find a job I really want in the next six months,” compared to 87 percent in 2016, 88 percent in 2015, and 91 percent in 2014.
Unemployment remains a chronic condition for many, though the average duration of unemployment (23.5 months) is lower than in 2016 (26.3 months) and 2015 (26.8 months) and slightly higher than in 2014 (23.2 months). Thirty percent of unemployed Americans have been out of work for three months or less, 13percent for four to six months, 13percent for 7-12 months, 10percent for 13-24 months and 34percent for more than two years.
When asked why they are unemployed, 22 percent say they quit and 22 percent say they were laid off. This is a new low of people reporting they were laid off, compared to 2016 (23 percent), 2015 (28 percent), and 2014 (36 percent)—an encouraging trend for the economy.
When asked who’s “responsible” for their unemployment, 50 percent blame themselves and 26 percent blame the economy. This represents a continued decline in the number blaming the economy, compared to 2016 (34 percent), 2015 (37 percent), and 2014 (45 percent). This is also an increase in those blaming themselves; just 36percent blamed themselves in 2014.
“It’s troubling that one-third of our fellow Americans who are unemployed say they have given upfinding work,” said Connie Druliner, franchisee of the Bend Express office. “But when you look a little closer, there are signs of a positive trend from previous years; fewer have given up, more are hopeful, fewer blame the economy and fewer are unemployed due to layoffs.
WHO ARE THE UNEMPLOYED?
According to the survey, 55 percent of the unemployed are men; 45 percent are women.
The largest age group is the youngest age group:
-35 percent are ages 18-29
-19 percentare ages 30-39
-18 percent are ages 40-49
-16 percent are ages 50-59
-12 percent are 60 or older
The majority lacks a college degree:
-7 percent did not complete high school
-39 percent received only a high school diploma
-6 percent completed job-specific training after high school
-21 percent attended college but did not receive a degree
-8 percent hold an associate’s degree
-14 percent hold a bachelor’s degree
-2 percent attended graduate school but did not receive an advanced degree
-4 percent have a graduate degree
Those with a college degree reported receiving their diplomas in the following areas:
-24 percent in science
-29 percent in liberal arts
-5 percent in education
-25 percent in business
-5 percent in fine arts
-13 percent in another area
Forty-six percentof those with at least a college degree agreed with the statement, “I wish I focused on a vocational career (e.g., automotive technology, electrician, plumber, HVAC specialist, dental assisting, medical assisting, etc.) rather than getting my college degree.”
WHO’S GIVING UP, WHO’S HOPEFUL
Thirty-three percent agree with the statement, “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job,” compared to 43 percent in 2016, 40percent in 2015, and 47percent in 2014.
-6 percent agree completely
-5 percent agree a lot
-9 percent agree somewhat
-12 percent agree a little
-67 percent do not agree at all
Of those who have been unemployed for more than two years, 53 percent agree that they have “given up.”
Still, 92 percentof all unemployed Americans agree with the statement, “I’m hopeful that I will find a job I really want in the next six months,” compared to 87 percent in 2016, 88 percent in 2015, and 91 percent in 2014.
-38 percent agree completely
-23 percent agree a lot
-21 percent agree somewhat
-9 percent agree a little
-8 percent do not agree at all
This study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals and included 1,500 U.S. adults aged 18 or older who are unemployed but capable of working (whether or not they receive unemployment compensation benefits). Excluded are those who are currently retired, choose to stay at home or are unable to work due to long-term disability.
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.02 billion in sales and employed a record 500,002 people in 2015. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.
The Bend Express office is located at 61379 S Highway 97 and serves the Central Oregon area. Local businesses and applicants are encouraged to stop by, visit www.expresspros.com or call 541-389-1505.