30% of workforce still in job seeking mode, with 3 in 4 citing a net average or strong job market
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – Financial considerations, life priorities and a desire for new challenges are among the factors that have prompted nearly a third of America’s workforce to pursue new jobs in recent months, new research from CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce, reveals.
The January wave of CompTIA’s biannual “Job Seeker Trends” research finds the rate of job seekers exploring opportunities in their existing field unchanged at 63%, while those looking to make a career change into a new field ticked up slightly to 61% from June’s reading of 60%.
“We continue to see unprecedented numbers of workers exploring career opportunities across the spectrum,” said Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA president and CEO. “While high profile layoffs at big, name brand companies make all the headlines, workers are actively pursuing jobs with the mid and smaller companies that make up the majority of the U.S. and global workforce."
Job seekers remain generally optimistic about employment prospects, with three-quarters of respondents characterizing the current job market as very strong, strong or average. This measured optimism is buttressed by the latest national employment data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows a historically low unemployment rate and surprisingly strong job gains of 517,000 new jobs added in January.
Beyond financial considerations and life and career priorities, unhappiness with their current career trajectory, burnout and stress as other factors contributing to interest in seeking new employment. For 63% of job seekers a culmination of factors contributed to their decision to look at other options, while 37% said their decision was prompted by a specific factor. One in three job seekers reports being stuck in a rut and wanting a change.
Job seekers hold the perception that technology and healthcare fields are relatively more difficult to transition to. Specifically in the case of technology there remains a “confidence gap” of real or perceived barriers that deter consideration for pursuing a technology career path. Thirty-seven percent of Gen Xers and 34% of Gen Zers express concern about starting too far behind and similar percentages express concern around lacking skills.
“A lack of confidence can be generated by something as simple as a poorly constructed help wanted ad,” said Thibodeaux. “Requirements for college degrees high-level credential that are unnecessary for entry-level tech positions may keep potentially qualified and motivated individuals from even considering these jobs.”
The report shows that many people face serious challenges as they seek new employment opportunities. Women cite the time commitment required to look for a new job and the need to balance their search with the demands of work or family at slightly higher rates than men. Gen Zers and Millennials rate mental fatigue as a challenge at a slightly higher rate than Baby Boomers. Frustration with automated application systems that screen out candidates and information overload from job boards and career sites also cause angst for job seekers.
CompTIA’s “Job Seeker Trends” study was conducted via an online survey by the research firm Morning Consult during January 2023. Data was weighted to approximate a target sample of U.S. adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. The full report is available at https://www.comptia.org/content/research/job-seeker-trends.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for unlocking the potential of the tech industry and its workforce. https://www.comptia.org/