Active Job Search in U.S. Labor Market Is Rising

Indeed survey shows more job seekers are willing to start a job immediately.

Good news for employers who have been desperately seeking workers waiting it out on the sidelines for more than a year.

The mismatch in urgency between job seekers and employers may be easing, according to the latest Indeed Hiring Lab Job Search Survey.

Active search has picked up among both jobless and employed job seekers, with more people saying they want to start work immediately.

The Indeed Hiring Lab polled 5,000 people in the US, ages 18-64. The samples included individuals in and out of the labor force, and employed and jobless people.

Fewer unemployed workers cited COVID-19 as a reason for not searching urgently. Whether job search continues to strengthen likely depends on the course of the pandemic.

U.S. job searches picked up from early June to mid-July, the Indeed survey found.

Just a month ago, many employers wanted to staff up quickly as the economy reopened, but many workers said they didn’t want to start a job right away. The July results suggest that the urgency mismatch has eased, but that further improvement depends on the state of the pandemic.

The labor market’s urgency mismatch stems from the fact that many employers want to staff up immediately and are hiring urgently at the same time that many unemployed people are hesitant to begin work right away.

Survey highlights include:

  • 31.6% of respondents are actively looking for paid employment, up sharply from 24.4% in June.

  • 14.1% of respondents characterized their job searches as active and urgent.

  • 64.4% of active job seekers say they would start a job immediately, up from 60.9% in June.

  • In July 2021, the share of job seekers citing increased vaccinations as a reason for not searching urgently for a job fell to 19.8%, compared to 29.2% in June 2021.

  • Two other commonly cited reasons for not searching urgently also declined between June and July: care responsibilities and having an employed spouse or partner.

  • Money issues seem to be a rising concern among unemployed workers not searching urgently. More of them said the end of UI benefits or financial cushions running low were major milestones that could prompt them to take a job.

Thus, a share of the population that previously planned to return to work in a few months is now willing to start work more quickly. The readiness of this group to take work right away could either be because the right amount of time has passed or one or more of several milestones, such as increased vaccination rates, has been reached.

Source: Indeed