Finding a new job takes an average of three months right now


Thinking about throwing your hat a bit belatedly into the Great Resignation? Brace yourself for a bit of a wait before you find your next gig. A new study from ZipRecruiter finds it takes, on average, three months to find a new job right now. The good news is that 70% of those people who did switch jobs saw an increase in their pay, with the average increase coming in at 25%.

And while it sounds like a long time, it’s better than it once was. “Unemployment duration is very, very low, historically,” Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter’s chief economist, tells Fortune. The average time spent unemployed last month was 8.3 weeks, Pollak adds, compared to 8.9 weeks in February 2020.

“The numbers have bounced around a little bit, but our data suggests job seekers are still finding jobs remarkably quickly—historically quickly—and that’s especially interesting given that they actually have more of a financial cushion to go longer,” Pollak says.

Despite the recent layoffs in the tech sector, recruiters are still active, with 34% of those who found a new job saying they were wooed away from their old position by their new company. Twenty-nine percent said they received a signing bonus (up from 27% the previous quarter).

The quarterly survey speaks with 2,000 workers between the 10th and 16th of the second month of every quarter, meaning the data is fairly recent. (That said, just 16% of the new hires ZipRecruiter spoke with said they were forced out of their previous job.)

“As Americans return to the workforce, some employers are finding it easier to hire without having to recruit as aggressively,” Pollak wrote in the study. “Nonetheless, most job switchers surveyed by ZipRecruiter in Q1 ’23 found better pay and conditions.”

Women, the study found, were half as likely as men to negotiate their job offers—and three times as likely to see no improvement when they did push for more. Some 76% of men said they got a raise when they took a new job compared with only 63% of women, the survey found. And men were more than twice as likely as women to describe their current job as their “dream job.”

Overall, 87% of respondents said they were satisfied with their new job.

The job market is ‘robust,’ but there could be hidden risks

In a tight labor market with nearly 11 million job openings, even workers who have been unceremoniously laid off tend to find reemployment quickly. A separate survey of 2,000 recently laid-off U.S. workers that ZipRecruiter conducted in January found that more than half found a new role within a month, and over 80% found one within three months. Just 4% of respondents said the process extended beyond six months. Respondents told ZipRecruiter they could afford to be unemployed for three full months, which Pollack called “staggering.”

But just because the risks in the labor market have yet to show up for some applicants doesn’t mean they aren’t there, she adds. “If something breaks, it won’t be linear, like a gradual cooling month-to-month. Things can change on a dime.”

But for now, the labor market is “remarkably robust,” which is great news for job seekers. Even though job growth has become more concentrated in fewer industries after many months of incredible broadness across the economy, Pollack says it’s still “firing on all cylinders” in industries Americans are spending on like healthcare, leisure, and hospitality.

To nab one of the jobs up for grabs, Pollak encourages following today’s best practices: Keep a running tab of your progress, don’t let a day go by between applications, and sign up for email alerts on job sites so you’ll be the first to know about a listing that matches your skills and interests. “It really depends on your effort,” she says.

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