Who Job Seekers Are Voting For, and Why

There are tens of millions of job seekers in this country. Some estimates have placed the percentage of “job seekers” – that is, people looking for, or open to taking, a new job – as high as 75% of working-age Americans.

Many of these people are voters, of course, and as we followed the ins and outs of what has been a doozy of a presidential election, we became curious: do the opinions of job seekers map to those of the rest of the country?

Is it possible that job seekers – who one might infer would put economic and job issues high on their list of concerns about the future of the country – plan to vote differently than their counterparts?

To find out, we conducted an internal study of over 7,000 active job seekers to better understand their sentiments toward the 2016 election and the overall economic situation, and compared them to the results of national polls.

According to our data, 47.8% of job seekers are planning to vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton in comparison to the 39.8% who favor Donald Trump. As of October 27, 2016, according to FiveThirtyEight, national averages don’t stray too far from these numbers, with Clinton at 49.6% and Trump, 43.3%.


Following the news of FBI director James Comey’s letter to Congress about a new investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, we took another poll this week to see if job seekers’ opinions had changed.

Based on the data from this new poll, conducted October 31, we found that job seekers views have effectively remained unchanged, despite the recent news. In fact, based on this sample, the percentage of people favoring Secretary Clinton increased slightly.


Let’s break down these results even further by state and industry.

According to our data, the state with the highest rank voting for Clinton is California. That’s right: 67% of job seekers based in California are voting for Clinton and only 32% for Trump. The other four ranking in the top five mix include Florida, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania. 

zip-slide-3You likely assumed that the technology industry is one the primary forces driving those votes from the state of California, and you guessed right. Regarding job seekers, tech ranks #2 within the top five industries voting Clinton.

Other industries backing Clinton over Trump are business, healthcare, transportation, and finance.


It comes as no surprise that the economy is the top concern for both job seekers and voters nationwide. With 41.3% of jobseekers ranking the economy as their most pressing concern (as well as 84% of the public according to Pew Research) it’s evident that job seekers are concerned about their chances of successfully landing a job.

Apart from the economy, the job seeker’s and general voter’s second most prioritized issue matches up: national security. Additional top pressing concerns for job seekers fall within categories of income inequality, healthcare, other, education, and the environment. 


One interesting finding is that job seekers are actually more optimistic about the direction of the country than the general voting population. 53% of job seekers say the country is on the wrong track, versus the reported 65.9% of men and women nationwide who feel that way.


That attitudinal difference makes sense. By looking for a job now, job seekers are casting a vote of confidence in the economy, one that is objectively well-placed. With years of job growth under its belt, a low unemployment rate, and a rebound in GDP growth, the U.S. economy is in a pretty good place. That means that now is a great time to job hunt.

As we saw from the jobs report in September, even middle skill / middle pay jobs have finally begun rebounding. Several industries are experiencing strong growth in hiring demand – including healthcare and financial activities – which means that job seekers should have plenty of available employment opportunities in the upcoming months.


We surveyed over 7000 active job seekers through the ZipRecruiter platform, first on October 26 and 27, and once again on October 31 in order to capture the effects of the Comey Letter.

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At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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