Americans Uncertain About the Future of Work, 2016 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Shows

By Wednesday, March 23, 20162016

Nearly 1 in 5 Have Held Jobs in Sharing Economy or “Gig” Economy, 39% Are Concerned About Automation, and 74% Are Open to New Employment

San Mateo, Calif., March 23, 2016 — Jobvite (www.jobvite.com), the leading recruiting solution for emerging and enterprise companies, today announced the results of its 2016 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study. Now in its seventh year, the study provides an in-depth survey of the behaviors, views, and anxieties of the modern American workforce and the upcoming presidential election.

The state of work is in flux, and today’s job seekers are adjusting to a new reality – where job tenure is shorter and the hunt for opportunities is constant. Jobvite’s survey reveals that job seekers are concerned in the short term (39% say it’s harder to find a job than the year before), but optimistic in the long run (44%) that they’ll be able to find a job that suits their skills and qualifications. In the meantime, 74% of all workers are satisfied with their jobs – although two-thirds of those are still open to new employment, highlighting how looking for a new job has become the de facto state for many. This goes hand in hand with the finding that younger workers see career change as a constant, as 42% of millennials expect to change jobs at least every 1-3 years.

This year’s study also explores the ways technology is changing how we look for work, and even the very nature of a job. Gig-type jobs through companies like Uber or Airbnb are part of the new normal: nearly one-fifth of all job seekers polled have held a job in the gig economy, and of those, 56% report that this has been their main source of income. At the same time, the technology to automate jobs has arrived, with the potential to transform the workforce: 39% of respondents are concerned about the their position being automated or made obsolete in the next five years.

“These findings emphasize the fact that the way we look for work, and the way we work, is changing significantly. The gig economy’s rapid growth is remarkable and the data demonstrates that the modern job seeker is now more flexible than ever,” said Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite. “As job tenure decreases, workers and companies alike are embracing new platforms like social media and mobile to keep pace with the continuously evolving economic landscape.”

Other key findings include:

The modern job seeker uses multiple methods to find the perfect job.

  • 24% of respondents say that employee referrals helped them find their most fulfilling job.
  • 48% used social media in the search for their most recent job – of those, 67% used Facebook, only 35% used Twitter. 59% have used social to assess the company culture of a potential employer.
  • People are searching for jobs anytime, anywhere! 52% of mobile job seekers have looked for new opportunities while in bed, and 37% have searched while at the office at their current job.

Company perks are on the rise, but real benefits are still lacking.

  • Flexible work hours (24%) and free snacks (20%) are commonly reported perks, but when it comes to more serious benefits, only 43% of respondents reported having medical coverage through their job and only 33% have a 401(K) plan through their company.
  • Parents are more likely to not take parental leave. Only 44% of respondents with children have taken parental leave. However, that number has increased dramatically for younger generations: 59% of those age 18-29 compared to 29% of those aged 40-55.
  • Of those who took no or very little leave, a quarter cited the cost as a prohibitive factor, while 17% said their companies didn’t offer paid parental leave.

The 2016 election is highlighting varying concerns about the future of the economy.

  • At 47%, Hillary Clinton supporters are more likely than average to be somewhat or very concerned about the threat of automation to replace or eliminate their jobs.
  • Donald Trump’s strongest industry support comes from the real estate (26%) and construction (24%) sectors.
  • Bernie Sanders’ supporters are more likely to be dissatisfied with their job (12% versus 6% average) and more prone to be job-hoppers (28% versus 18% on average).

On behalf of Jobvite, the polling company, Inc., conducted a nationwide online omnibus survey, fielded February 5-8, 2016. Of the 2,305 adults (aged 18+) polled, 1,386 were participants in the U.S. labor force. Data was weighted so the demographics of this audience closely match the nationwide population of adults with respect to gender, age, and region.

The full Jobvite Job Seeker 2016 is now available for download.