Latest Release: May, 2022
The ZipRecruiter Job Seeker Confidence Survey is a nationally representative monthly survey of U.S. job seekers that measures how optimistic or pessimistic they are about their ability to land their dream jobs. Increased confidence is an indicator of future growth in wages and labor force participation.Download PDF
Job seekers' optimism about the availability of good, high-paying jobs increased in May as restaurant dining, air travel, and major sports and entertainment events picked up.
In May, job seekers felt more prepared for application and hiring processes, and for employment, as employers continued aggressively recruiting workers.
Job seekers’ assessments of their financial health improved moderately as robust growth in employment and labor earnings continued.
The ZipRecruiter Job Seeker Confidence Index increased 2.4 points in May as restaurant dining, air travel, and major sports and entertainment events picked up nationwide. Job seeker sentiment remains healthy, despite high inflation, rising interest rates, and a recent spate of high-profile layoffs in the technology sector. The Index now stands at 103.1 (January 2022=100).
The major drivers of the increase in overall confidence were:
Despite widespread uneasiness about the economic outlook, job seekers continue to feel encouraged in a labor market characterized by record-high job openings, low unemployment, and fierce competition between employers for talent.
"Job search can be nerve-wracking and frustrating. News headlines about hiring freezes and layoffs might suggest it’s not worth the effort right now. But most people who actively engage in this record-tight labor market get an immediate confidence boost after discovering lots of attractive opportunities."
- Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter Chief Economist Tweet This Quote
The ZipRecruiter Index
The overall ZipRecruiter Job Seeker Confidence Index comprises three subindices:
"You may not know it from the news headlines, but this is still very much a job seekers’ market. In 2022, everyone has an incredible opportunity to accelerate their careers."
- Ian Siegel, ZipRecruiter Co-Founder and CEO Tweet This Quote
More Detailed Findings
Overall, job seekers were very optimistic in May, with a plurality feeling that their job search was going fairly well. Despite the increasing cost of living and economic uncertainty, job seekers are highly confident in current labor market conditions. They were almost twice as likely to think the number of jobs in the economy will grow over the next six months (36% of job seekers, up from 32% the prior month) than decline (19%). (Most expect the number of jobs to hold steady.)
As more companies called workers back to the office, however, transportation issues and caregiving responsibilities became a bigger challenge for job seekers.
The top barriers to searching for work more actively that respondents cited were:
About 14% of job seekers said they are not at all confident that they have the right skills and preparation for the jobs available, up from 12% last month.
The main job search process challenges respondents said they are confronting include:
Of all the job search process challenges respondents face, not hearing back from employers and not knowing what jobs they are qualified for are most strongly associated with low overall confidence.
The monthly Job Seeker Confidence Survey is based on an online sample and conducted for ZipRecruiter by Qualtrics. It is administered to 1,500 job seekers between the 10th and 16th of each month and weighted to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Respondents may be employed, unemployed, or not currently in the labor force, but they must reside in the United States and plan to find a new job “in the next six months” in order to be included in the sample.
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