80+ Job-Search Statistics You Have to Know [Updated for 2020]

2 December 2019
13 min read
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The way companies hire is always changing. 

It seems like yesterday when LinkedIn was introduced. Now everyone is asking for endorsements.

To say 2020 was eventful is an understatement. 

In March and April combined, 20 million jobs were lost and 4 in 10 U.S. workers were doing their jobs full-time from home. 

This turnover majorly impacts the entire job market

And it’s only one of the many interesting statistics for the year. 

In this article, we’re going to cover the most important and relevant statistics for 2020. 

Read on to learn more about:
  1. The current market job situation
  2. The most common recruiting trends 
  3. The importance of social media in job-search 
  4. The most in-demand jobs for 2020
  5. Top skills recruiters are looking for
  6. What’s the typical hiring process in 2020
  7. Diversity in the workplace 

What is the General Job Market Situation?

As you will notice from the numbers below, this year’s statistics were anything but constant. 

After a relatively normal January and February, there were drastic changes following the spread of COVID-19 in March. 

Check out these statistics to learn more: 

Employment and Job Market

job search statistics 2020

As of October 2020, the national unemployment rate for 2020 is 6.9%. The year started with an unemployment rate of 3.6% in January. After March, the rate rose until it peaked at 14.7% in April. Since then, it started its decline (at a slower pace) and reached 6.9% in October. This is almost double the unemployment rate of October 2019 (3.6%). Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

There are 2.5 people per each job opening (as of September 2020). This number is lower compared to the 4.6 ratio in April, but very far from the pre-pandemic one. Since March 2018, the number of job openings has exceeded the level of unemployment. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

4.7 million workers (3.4% of the US population) were already working remotely as of February 2020. Source: Global Workplace Analytics

There were 18% fewer job applications from 35-44-year-olds in October 2020 compared to October 2019. There were 17% fewer applications from the 25-34-year-old age group. This indicates that professionals are avoiding risk in changing jobs in the current environment. Source: iCIMS

21.2% of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic (October 2020). Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The average employee tenure for all occupations in the US is 4.1 years. For employees aged 55 to 64, the average tenure is 9.9 years. For younger employees (25 to 34), it is 2.8 years. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment in leisure and hospitality is down by 3.5 million since February 2020. This is the industry that suffered the biggest drop in employment levels. Professional and business services suffered the second biggest drop with employment 1.1million below the February level. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 


salary statistics usa 2020

There was an overall increase in wages in 2020. 

The average salary for U.S. workers in 2020 was $ 1430 per week or $74,378 yearly for a 40-hour week. 

25+ years old employees without a high school degree earned an average of $30,784 annually. Those who are high school graduates earned an average of $38,792 annually. 

Workers who have at least one bachelor’s degree earned an average of $64,896. Those who have more advanced degrees (Master’s, MBA, Ph.D. or other) earned an average of $90,844. Source: Northeastern.edu

Men aged 45 to 54 had the highest annual earnings at $66,092.

Whereas for women, earnings peaked at the ages 35 - 44 at $52,572.

Women earn 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. There is a 2% improvement from 2019. Women of color, however, earn 61 cents for each dollar a white man earns. Source: Payscale 

Independent consultants can make an average of $97,000 annually. The average salary of a consultant is $75,000. The annual average salary of a management consultant is about $85,000. Source: consulting.com

pay gap statistic usa 2020

What are the Most Common Recruiting Trends? 

14% of companies are on a total hiring freeze as a result of COVID-19. 43% have continued hiring normally, and another 43% in only hiring for specific necessary roles. Source: Lever State of Recruiting Report

After the freezes lift, hiring priorities are expected to change for companies. 45% say they will focus on hiring more mid-level managers, 42% will focus on hiring more junior and entry-level positions, 30% will be hiring more senior leadership, and 24% claim nothing will change. Source: Lever State of Recruiting Report

Since May 2020, there’s been a sharp rise in women being hired for positions with 6-figure salaries. Women of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups have led this change with hires up by 71%. Source: iCIMS

54% of recruiters offer additional training and development to overcome talent shortages. If they can’t find candidates with the needed skills, they train them for the job. Source: Manpower Group 

Only 27% of businesses disclose salary and wage rates publicly. Source: LinkedIn

Job applications increase by 34% when a video is included in the job posting requirements. Source: CareerBuilder

training job search statistic

Since 2014, there has been a 2.4X increase for LinkedIn members whose job titles include “employee experience”. Source: LinkedIn

73% of recruiters say advancements in people analytics will be a priority for their companies in the next 5 years. Source: LinkedIn

The top 4 trends that are expected to shape hiring in the upcoming years are:

  • Employee Experience (94%)
  • People Analytics (85%)
  • Internal Recruiting (82%)
  • Multi-Generational Workforce (74%)

Source: LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends Report 

One third of recruiters say that at their companies, 50% or more positions are being filled remotely. Source: Jobvite 

Social media, employee referral programs, and job boards are the recruiting areas where financial investments are expected to rise in the next 12 months. Source: Jobvite 

36% of recruiters say AI (Artificial Intelligence) has made their jobs better. AI is mostly being used by recruiters for job recommendations (34%) and candidate matching (32%). Source: Jobvite

future job search trends

How Important is Social Media for job-search?

Just about 20 years ago, there was no social media. 

Hard to imagine, right?

Now, it plays a huge part in both your day-to-day life, and career.

Here are 6+ statistics that show how important social media is to your job search:

This year, at least 67% of recruiters leaned on LinkedIn research for hiring employees.

51% of job seekers claim they prefer finding job opportunities on online job search websites. Source: Glassdoor

Advertising an application process as mobile-friendly can increase the number of job applicants by 11.6%. That’s because 35% of job seekers say they would prefer applying from their phone. Source: Glassdoor

84% of organizations use social media to recruit their employees. One-third of companies advertise on mobile to source candidates. Source: SHRM

ats job search statistic

70% of job applications get disqualified by applicant tracking systems without being read. This statistic emphasizes how important it is to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. Source: CareerArc

70% of employers turned down a job application because of the information they found on the candidate’s social network. The primary type of content that caused this rejection (at 40%) was provocative photographs. Other behavior recruiters responded negatively to are: drinking, doing drugs, discrimination, poor communication, lies about qualifications, etc.  Source: CareerBuilder

60% of recruiters appreciate and give bonus points if a candidate’s social media shows engagement in local or national non-profits. Samples of written or design work were also viewed favorably. Source: Jobvite 

1 in 3 job applicants has shared at least one negative review of a previous job or employer. 55% of job applicants who read a negative review of a job decided not to apply for the position. Meaning, company reputation IS really important for hiring the right talent. Source: CareerArc

social media job search trends 2019

What are the 10+ Most In-Demand Jobs? 

What is the future workplace going to look like? 

What jobs are and will continue to be high-demand? 

The demand for healthcare workers surpasses the supply. Since January, job openings were up by 23%, but hiring was up by only 3%. Source: iCIMS

According to LinkedIn, here are the top 10 in-demand positions in 2020 and beyond: 

1) Salesperson

Change in rank: no change

2) Registered Nurse

Change in rank: no change

3) Software Engineer 

Change in rank: no change

4) Tax Specialist

Change in rank: +17

This position had the biggest change in rank. 

5) Driver

Change in rank: no change

6) Food Driver

Change in rank: -2

7) Javascript Developer

Change in rank: +3

8) Fundraiser

Change in rank: +8

9) Project Manager

Change in rank: -2

10) Retail Salesperson

Change in rank: +10

photo on resume job statistic

The fastest growing industries according to IBISWorld are:

  • Online Grocery Sales: 74.5%
  • Cough & Cold Medicine Manufacturing OTC: 68.8%
  • 3D Printing & Rapid Prototyping Services: 28.8%
  • Online Pet Food & Pet Supply Sales: 28.5%
  • Hydraulic Fracturing Services: 27.8%
  • High Frequency Trading: 27.4%

Region-wise, as of September 2020 in the U.S.A, there were job openings (in the thousands) in:

  • The West: 1,410 
  • The South: 2,532
  • The Northeast: 1,116
  • The Midwest: 1,378

 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Skills are Recruiters Looking For? 

Hard skills are what get your foot in the door. 

But in today’s circumstances, soft skills are what recruiters are looking for.

Over 60% of recruiters say they need to hire workers with skills that weren’t needed before.

The top skills employers are now looking for are:

  • Adaptability (68%)
  • Communication (60%)
  • Technology Proficiency (55%)
  • Resilience (47%)
  • Change Management (28%)

Source: Lever State of Recruiting Report

The top 3 fastest growing skills for 2020 were: 

  • Customer Experience
  • Digital Marketing 
  • Data Analysis

Source: LinkedIn

80% of professionals consider soft skills more important than hard skills to a company’s success. 

92% of recruiters say that soft skills, including interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and critical thinking are crucial tools they look for in an applicant. 

The top soft skills for employers are: 

  • Team-oriented (51%)
  • Attention to detail (49%)
  • Customer service (46%)

Source: The Harris Pool

68% of recruiters assess soft skills by picking on social cues during the interview. 

For instance, if a candidate’s energetic, she’s a good collaborator. 

But perceptions aren’t always accurate, they can even be unintentionally biased. 57% of professionals struggle to accurately evaluate soft skills.

Source: Job Vite

What’s the Typical Hiring Process in 2020

ats usage job search statistic

Do recruiters take a lot of time to evaluate an application? 

How many get called in for an interview? 

How long do you have to wait after sending a resume? 

Read on to find out. 

Content of the Application

An estimated 98% of companies use ATS (application tracking systems) or other hiring systems. Source: Jobscan

75% of recruiters can spot a lie on CV or Resume. Source: CareerBuilder

96% of professional employers say the candidates’ experience is becoming more important. Yet, only 52% of companies say they provide a positive employee experience. Source: LinkedIn Global Talents Trend Report

59% of recruiters will reject a candidate’s CV if it has spelling or grammatical errors. Take the extra time to perfect your CV and proofread it at least twice. Source: myjobmag 

Pro Tip: Grammarly is an online proofreading tool that acts as your personal editor. Give it a try! 

There is a 60% chance you will get rejected if your CV has poor formatting. Use formatting that is easily read by Applicant Tracking Systems. Source: Ladders

Using concrete numbers increases your hiring chances by 40%. Back up your work experience, responsibilities, and achievements with numbers to maximize your chances of landing the job. Source: Talentworks

Adding industry keywords and power words increase your hiring chances by 29%. Source: Talentworks 

43% of professionals say half a page is the perfect length for a cover letterSource: undercoverrecruiter

No experience? Don’t worry! For 87% of recruiters, a four-year college degree makes you competitive for an entry-level position. Source: iCIMS

recruiters reviewing resume statistic

Recruitment Process

A corporate position receives an average of 250 resumes per position. Source: EBI 

It takes a recruiter only six seconds to review and evaluate a resume. Source: The Ladders 

The best time to follow up after submitting your resume is 1 to 2 weeks. Don’t email the recruiter more than twice. A lack of response means you should move on to another opportunity. Source: Accountemps

60% of job applicants are likely to drop an application process if it’s too long. Source: empxtrack

62% of job seekers say they prefer the application process to be completed within 2 weeks. Source: Clutch

The average time it takes to fill in a new position is 27 days. Source: empxtrack

73% of recruiters say internal recruiting is increasingly important to their company. Up to half of job openings are filled internally before even being posted. Source: Linkedin Global Talent Trends Report

67% of job-seekers say they have had a negative experience when applying for a job. 27% of them say they would discourage others from applying to the same company. Source: empxtrack 

20,8% of employers say they struggle to meet rising candidate demands. Source: empxtrack 

The Interview

As a result of the pandemic, 84% of recruiters have resorted to phone interviews, while 85% of them to video interviews. Source: Lever State of Recruiting Report

Only an average of 2% of candidates is called for an interview. Source: EBI

The average job interview is 45 minutes long. Source: livecareer

Companies have an average of 9 interview stages. Source: Lever

33% of HR Managers know whether they should hire a candidate in the first 90 seconds of the interview. Source: undercoverrecruiter

67% of HR Managers say not making eye contact is a common nonverbal mistake. Source: undercoverrecruiter

The most likely question to be asked in an interview is: “Tell me about yourself”. Source: undercoverrecruiter

61% of employees say that the actual job differs from the expectations set during the interview. Source: Glassdoor

47% of interviewers say they won’t hire interviewees with no company knowledge. Source: Twin Employment Training

Diversity in the Workplace

diversity workplace job statistic

Diversity and inclusion-related job openings declined by 60% in the period from March through June. Since then, they have rebounded by 55% following a nationwide movement protesting systemic racism and racial injustice. Source: Glassdoor

76% of employees and job seekers report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and jobs. About 32% of employees say they wouldn’t apply to a job at a company where there’s a lack of workforce diversity. Source: Glassdoor

Three top reasons companies focus on a diverse workplace are: to improve culture (78%), to improve company performance (62%), to better represent customers (49%). Source: Careerbuilder 

Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have higher returns than the industry median. Source: McKinsey  

Following the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement, the expansion of workplace diversity is expected to be at the forefront of employers’ plans. 50% of talent practitioners say this will become a priority. Source: Lever Recruiting Brief

66% of organizations have strategies for diverse hiring, but only 25% set gender diversity goals. Source: Jobbatical 

The number of female CEOs at Fortune 500 Companies hit an all-time high this year. 37 of the companies are led by women. Source: S&P 500 List 

89% of talent professionals say a multigenerational workforce makes a company more successful. Source: LinkedIn Global Talents Trend Report

Hispanics and Latinos make 8% of all US graduates, yet only carry 4% of the senior executive positions. Source: Glassdoor

Black and Hispanic women with either full or part-time jobs also typically earn 38 percent less and 46 percent less than white men, respectively. Source: The Institute for Women's Policy Research

White persons earn nearly $261 more in median weekly income than their Black counterparts. Source: The Institute for Women's Policy Research

Asian women earn 93 cents for each dollar a man earns and only 74.8% of what Asian men earn. Source: The Institute for Women's Policy Research

Gen Z workers are 135% more likely than Baby Boomers to be in a part-time jobSource: LinkedIn Global Talents Trend Report

Global Job-Search Statistics 

Employment rates aren’t only looking up just for the U.S - it’s increasing all around the globe:

  • India 37.8%
  • Mexico 95.3%
  • Asia-Pacific 58.8%
  • Germany 75.8%
  • UK 75.3%
  • France 65.1%
  • Australia 61.2%
  • Brazil 47.1%

Source: Trading Economics and ILO

Key Takeaways

In this article, key takeaways are whatever YOU find valuable for YOUR job-search.

Our top picks? 

  • Compared to this time last year, employment rates are lower (hitting an all-time-low in April) and most people are avoiding taking risks by changing positions/careers.  
  • A lot of positions have become remote this year. As companies and employers are getting used to this dynamic, there is a high chance that some positions will remain remote in the upcoming years. 
  • Job interview processes have mostly shifted online through phone calls and video calls. Learn how to prepare for videos interview with our article.
  • Soft skills are getting more well-deserved attention. Don’t forget the top 3 soft skills of 2020: adaptability, communication, and technology proficiency.
  • Social media is an awesome tool to look for jobs. However, it can be a double-edged sword. A lot of recruiters monitor your social media for negative behavior. 
  • Companies have piles of applications and very little time. So carefully craft your resume and tailor it for the Applicant Tracking System.
  • Diversity in the workplace has become a priority for most companies and is expected to remain so in the upcoming year as well. 
  • Gender and racial pay gaps are closing up, but there is still progress to be made. 

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