Laid-off workers report finding work

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While we continue to trudge through this economy, analysts, experts and anyone with a microphone are quick to predict the future. Things will be better in this quarter or when that happens. Hopefully anyone predicting a rosy future is right, but right now we need something concrete to judge the situation.

A recent CareerBuilder survey looked at the success rates of previously laid-off workers who have since found work. The survey found that 51 percent of workers who were laid off in the last three months have found either part-time or full-time jobs. When the previous survey was conducted in November 2009, that figure was 44 percent. Although we’d all like to see every job seeker land a job as quickly as possible, at least the figure is rising.

The pay situation was less attractive. Although nearly 40 percent of these workers were able to negotiate salaries that were higher than or equivalent to their previous income, 61 percent took a pay cut.

The survey did find some trends emerging among laid-off workers.


  • 57 percent of workers who were laid off in the last six months were re-hired by the very employers how laid them off.
  • Of job seekers who were laid off in the last six months and who haven’t found jobs, 71 percent would accept an offer from the employer who laid them off.

Transferring skills:

  • Of workers who were laid off in the last six months and landed new jobs, 64 percent found work in a field different than where they were previously employed.
  • 55 percent of these workers say they really enjoy their new positions. Good news!


  • 46 percent of workers who were laid off in the previous six months and found jobs relocated.
  • Of those who relocated and found work, 93 percent moved to a new city (not a new state).
  • Of those workers who were laid off in the previous six months and are still looking for employment, 42 percent are willing to relocate for a job.

You can read about other trends the survey discovered here.

As I said, a bigger number of laid-off workers who found jobs would be ideal. (Or no layoffs at all, of course.) However, at least we can look at what’s happening right now for evidence that the situation has bright spots.

Tell us about your take on the results. If you’re employed or have been recently, do you think relocation is the way to go? Is transferring skills a necessity in this economy?

  1. I dont think the numbers are a true refelection of people seeking employment as I was not layed off I was out do to a surgery and have been looking for a year and a half, also the career websites are very miss leading as you apply and then try and call to check on your app and they say they are just taking app and not hiring now. It is with most companies to always take apps but not hiring. If the career sites or job boards would only post from company that is hiring I think you would see how few jobs are out there. The stats are only looking at persons who file for unemployment not anyone else.

  2. I’m always interested in statistics about people who change careers. I agree with Carmen that it’s not possible to know how accurate the statistics are. The numbers don’t tell the full story because it isn’t possible to track lay offs from every single company since many folks who are laid off might not qualify for unemployment.

    With that being said, when someone is laid off, it can seem like the end of the world. SOMETIMES it ends up being a blessing in disguise.

    Maybe those 55% that are enjoying their positions in a new field wanted to move to a new field in the first place. It’s always difficult to deal with lay offs because they are unexpected. It is encouraging to see that some folks seem to be putting their Spirit in the driver’s seat to become more successful in the next phase of their journey.

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  4. I agree with above. I’ve been looking for a job since March 2008 and went back to school. I now have an assoc. degree in accounting, but now, all employers either want a B.S. Degree or want 2-3 years of experience. How can I get experience if I can’t get hired? Out of all of the resume’s I’ve sent out, I have only heard back from one. Where are these other resume’s going? Why did they put out the request if they aren’t planning on hiring or even responding back?

  5. @Jen – It’s frustrating, one thing to do is to try to request an interview anyway, or include any relevant accomplishments on your resume. Even if the resume requires 2-3 years of experience, try to demonstrate how you’re a great candidate even without the experience, and with your listed accomplishments, explain how those accomplishments prove that you’re capable of doing the job, even though you don’t yet have the experience. Hopefully what I’m saying makes sense to you.

  6. Haven’t yet heard anyone address the following issues, but I’m sure their must be others with the same thoughts. So….. many previously laid off workers are re-employed by their old employers, that’s good. Do those statistics include part time employees who used to be full time? If so, what percentage?

    More importantly, and this I highly suspect, that the majority of previously laid-off workers that have new employers, are either part time, or making far less than at their old jobs, or both. While they may have part-time, minimum wage and low wage jobs, categorizing them as no longer unemployed is misleading when you equate the same numbers to economic growth. The statistics reflect bodies, employed or not employed. That’s all. The decrease in the number of unemployed does not equate to the increase in the rate of the economy, since wages and hours worked can be much lower.

    Yes, I am unemployed going on 1 1/2 years now.
    I have taken classes in areas that are in demand to get the skills that employers used to ask for. As someone mentioned above, now they want 2 years experience. Employers can demand more because they know they have a large employee pool to choose from. I understand their position. They have suffered through this recession, too. But, you would think that they might look at it as we are all in this together in the United States. There are many willing and conscientious workers out here who with a little on-the-job training, would be an excellent boone to a business. In such a scenario as this, trainees would definitely have nothing to lose, but time, which the unemployed have plenty of anyway.

    Even allowing a trial period without pay would be economically prudent for businesses.In such a scenario as this, trainees would definitely have nothing to lose, but time, which the unemployed have plenty of anyway.

    Yes, there is some risk to employers and training takes time. Those are big issues to employers. But, America is having big issues, too.

    I am not a cynic and I do see things sloooowwwlly getting better. I just don’t want people to be mislead by statistics. (13 years working in market research has made me very observant about such things!)

  7. Even with all the tech associated with job huntinhg, it always comwa down to only a few simple a(but very hard) guidelines – 1] Research specific compnany if possible, 2] NO NO NO errors on resume, 3) possitive attitude [this sucks) and non-stop.

  8. I tend to agree with the people who think that sites are advertising jobs, but not hiring. After being laid off whilst on maternity leave last May, I have not been able to find employment.

    On average I submit at least 20 – 50 applications weekly, and have probably heard back from four companies. I am currently back in school getting a degree in what I am already have experience (business and accounting – 15 years). Now I am sorry, but degree or not, I could be hired in at much less than someone just getting out of school with a degree in this field.

    In my case, it’s not that there isn’t sufficient experience, it’s that I don’t have the degree. And like another commenter stated earlier, they have the degree, but don’t have the experience. I honestly believe since the recession, business owners have developed ways in reducing costs even if that means over-working their current employees to ensure they don’t go under, or to be able to just pocket more. Unfortunately the people in current jobs who are over-worked in these situations, are terrified of complaining, or leave due to the recession, or just afraid of being terminated because it’s easy to let them go, and hire someone else cheaper.

    Either way, I see no progress in the labor market, and I am really not sure where Washington and everyone else is obtaining their facts that our economy is getting better.

    • The economy is not getting any better, I have been looking for almost two years since I was laid off and only got one interview but I am in my sixties and no one is going to hire me. I do not believe I needed to be laid off since they have hired many new people since I was let go so I do believe it is an age thing. My husband was laid off five months after me and my best friend. They didn’t care that I gave them much over 100% of effort, I worked myself silly and they kept two women who I kept up their numbers. One refused to do more and the other was too stupid to learn what we were doing and I had to constantly fix her mistakes and when I was no longer there, they kicked her off that job when they realized she didn’t know how to do it. I was the oldest on my team but I knew what I was doing and I trully worked but now no one will hire me because of my age to see what I can do.

  9. American laid off workers understand that they were laid off due to reasons beyond their control. The current government inherited an economy that was falling off the cliff and had to take drastic actions in order to save it from total collapse. Americans can now be happy that things have started to improve. We the laid off workers can now continue to look for work with hope that jobs are now being created and we will soon be working again.

    We the laid off workers thank this government for all that it is doing to keep the laid off Americans standing on their feet while they continue to look for work. This is a government that has, for the first time in many years, recognized the frustrations Americans have to deal with whenever they are laid off and have provided very relevant and helpful resources to enable these individuals get back to work. When republicans criticize the government for making sure that we the laid off workers are paid unemployment insurance benefits to enable us take care of the critical bills that we still have to pay for while still looking for work, one wonders what their reasoning is. How would you expect all these millions of laid off workers to survive without any form of income or available jobs that can enable them earn a living. We the laid off Americans must support this government by the people, of the people and for the people following our experience in the much this government has done to see to it that we get back to work with some human dignity. We have eyes to see and ears to hear what these democrats leaders do every single day to save this economy, save jobs and create jobs for Americans. God bless America.

    • They can’t improve the economy when they are also outsourcing most of Americans jobs. The government has got to stop our jobs being sent to other countries, Corporations are shooting down America over greed. mexic, China and India have most of our jobs, we need to open our eyes.

  10. Being a regular voter myself, I find it disappointing to note that each time Republicans take over control of the government; the economy must decline and become very hard for the working class. This has been a true trend for many years now and our Republican leaders need to explain this to the American people if they want us to have confidence in them once again concerning their management of the economy based on their economic policies that seem not to have worked well for this country.

    When Republicans, under George Bush, took over the government from President Bill Clinton, they inherited a huge surplus with a booming economy. I remember life was very good and affordable for the working class people. Prices of basic commodities were relatively low including gas price which was below $1.00 a gallon. There were plenty of jobs with a number of Temporary employment agencies going as far as calling individual people’s phone numbers asking them if they were interested in various positions available. Now look what happened under republicans’ leadership! They squandered the surplus and ended up with a huge budget deficit. Gas prices went up above $4.00 a gallon; jobs were exported abroad leaving many Americans jobless. Prices of food and other basic commodities went up to a level whereby ordinary Americans could not afford to buy even basic food items. American economy collapsed into a huge recession that had never been experienced since the great depression. Millions of Americans lost their jobs and their property including their homes.

    It is very clear to Americans that this Democrats’ administration inherited an economy that was falling off the cliff. They inherited a horrible economy that no government in the recent past has ever inherited or experienced. Thanks to the Democrats leadership that has worked tirelessly to ensure that American economy is saved from total collapse. The Obama Administration acted with speed and had to take many drastic actions to save a situation that would have degenerated into a horrible economic catastrophe and a global depression. We Americans need to thank the Democrats for what they have done to save this great country within a short period of time they have been in charge.

    With millions of Americans having been laid off due to the bad economy left by the republicans, the current administration has done its best to ensure that laid off workers are kept on their feet while struggling to find work. We Americans who have been victims of massive lay offs have seen the much that this government has done to ensure that we the laid off Americans receive the necessary tools and facilities that would enable us go back to work. The government has extended unemployment benefits to us, something that we as laid off human beings are very thankful about. Republican talk show hosts and republican TV channel Fox News have criticized the government for having extended unemployment benefits to the laid off workers. With no jobs available for us at this critical moment, how did these republicans expect laid off Americans to survive without any income that would enable them pay their critical bills while they continue to look for employment? Are these critics really human beings? We the laid off workers must definitely vote for these Democrats leaders because of all that we have seen them do to us the laid off Americans and the country as a whole. They have shown us that they understand that they are leading people and not stones. This has been a government of the people, for the people and by the people. God bless America.

    Republicans have now been out of the government for just one year and a few months since they were kicked out by the voters. Having been in charge for over 8 years Americans became so sick and tired with their leadership such that Americans decided to elect the Democrats to lead them. Republicans’ economy deteriorated and eventually collapsed but thanks to God that the democrats won and rescued the economy!

    Americans recognize that elections matter and that every elected government is given 4 years in office to prove to the American people that they are ready and worth being re-elected for another 4 years term based on how they have performed in their (NOT 1 year in office) but 4 years in office. Republicans under George Bush were given their first 4 years which they even did not win clearly and even though they did not perform well, Americans gave them the benefit of doubt because of the then on going wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and added them another 4 years. For the total of 8 years that they had, Americans have not forgotten too soon that republicans had enough time to prove to the American people that they were ready to improve peoples’ standard of living. Americans asked them to step a side and they need to step a side for at least 4 years to give the Democrats enough time to show the American people that their policies can be good for Americans. The period voters give to their elected leaders is 4 years and not 1 year because voters are very wise to know that some of the policies take at least 3 years before their long term positive effects can be felt. American voters are very wise and they know that it is not realistic to kick out an elected leader in less than 2 years.

    Ironically, having created all the mess that the democrats are now working tirelessly to clear, and are in the process of clearing; and in just about 1½ year since their removal from leadership, republicans are back believing that Americans have in just 1 year forgotten that their policies failed. They are once again saying that their policies that resulted into the massive mess are the best and that Americans should give them another 8 more years to continue with the same failed policies.

  11. I have been unemployed for over 2 years now, after losing a 54,000 dollar a year job..I have 4 or 5 hundred resumes out there and, still get no response, I feel it’s true the Bush administration, left us in ruin, first by starting a war in Iran( which by the the way I support our soldiers, my son is in the Army) This war put us in huge debt, and I don’t think they wanted us there anyway, then along came the gas scam which did no more than line Bush’s and the big oil companys’s pockets,( Bush Sr. used to be into oil exploration before he was President) The Republicans have left us in ruin and with no jobs, now along comes the Obama administration and it”s basically left with an imposable task of fixing this mess, True the social programs have helped out but, I would gladly trade these for a job, They have spent ton’s of money on new energy programs which; I would love to go to work in that field but, the jobs are just not trickling down yet, My friend in heating and air conditioning tried to be an installer for the State of Michigan energy program but the lady at the office said you probably won’t be selected, how does she know that?, Why waste small Business peoples time? If there’s really no job”s available, The problem as I see It is; that the people who have been chosen to oversee the programs are not Qualified to run them !!!, If so let the unemployed people in management take over and get us the job’s we desperately need…..

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  13. I applaud Samuel George for voicing the truth about our economy, the route the government is taking in assisting laid off workers to support the basic family needs,and to one day get this country turned around. I too, am a laid off worker, after devoting 16 years, and I understand exactly what’s being said. I’m currently seeking employment as well as looking to enter into training for a career change.

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  21. The statistics for unemployment are badly skewed. Anyone who works 8 hours a week is considered employed. No matter how UNDER employed you are, you are considered employed. In San Diego, CA the published unemployment rate is over 12%. In reality it is over 25%. If someone has lost his/her job and was not able to replace it with one with equal pay and benefits then he or she should not be considered fully employed. There are those who are no longer receiving unemployment benefits due to the amount of time they have been unemployed. There are also those who are taking part time jobs for any kind of income. Those people should be considered unemployed also. Part time employment and underemployment are detrimental to the economy. The more people without disposable income, the less chance there is that the economy will improve. Ironically the oil companies are bemoaning the fact that gas consumption is still down. Considering that the oil companies started the recession it is rather humorous.

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