60% of Workers Who Were Laid Off in the Last Year Found New Jobs

Press release from the issuing company

Friday, August 5th, 2011

While more laid off workers are getting back to work, those who are still unemployed are anxious about re-entering the workforce. Sixty percent of workers who were laid off in the last year reported they landed new jobs with 88 percent of these workers finding full-time positions. Of those workers who are still searching for new opportunities, 56 percent said they are nervous about returning to work after an extended period of unemployment. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive© fromMay 19 to June 8, 2011, included more than 800 workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last year.

When asked why they felt anxious about re-entering the workforce, 50 percent of laid off, unemployed workers said it was the pressure to prove themselves while 40 percent pointed to fear of the unknown and 21 percent cited new technologies with which they may not be familiar.

Fear of the unknown especially comes into play as workers look to new industries and occupations after exhausting options in their own fields. More than half of workers (54 percent) who were laid off in the last year and found new jobs reported they found them in entirely different fields than where they previously worked.Respondents provided the following real-life examples of how they transitioned to new career paths:

  • Financial advisor became a grade school teacher
  • Restaurant manager became a computer technician
  • Video store manager became a home health aide
  • Music teacher became an animal care technician
  • Marketing manager became an engineer
  • Bookkeeper became a truck driver
  • Production manager became a sales associate
  • Researcher became a customer service representative
  • Sales representative became a fitness trainer
  • Collections agency representative became a radiology technician

"We need to do a better job as a nation to help workers identify jobs that are in-demand today and are projected to grow in the future," saidBrent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. "We have a growing skills gap and the need to get millions of Americans back to work. As the economy recovers, we need to focus on retraining and 're-skilling' workers to help them move to new fields with a greater number of opportunities."


Workers are not only changing industries, they're changing residences. Of workers who were laid off and found new jobs, 36 percent reported they relocated to a new city or state. Of those who haven't found new jobs yet, 38 percent said they would consider relocating for a position.

Pay Improving

The majority of laid off workers who found new jobs reported their pay is similar or higher than their previous position. Forty-five percent reported taking a pay cut, an improvement from 47 percent last year. Twenty-seven percent found jobs with higher pay, up from 22 percent last year.

Starting a Small Business

Some workers may replace their job search efforts with entrepreneurship. More than one-in-four (27 percent) who have not yet found work said they are considering starting their own business.