Nearly half of US workers expect to job hunt next year

12 November 2019 2 min. read

Nearly half (48%) of employed adults in the US are likely to look for a new job in the next year, found a survey conducted by the Harris Poll for the American Staffing Association. The poll surveyed 2,022 US adults aged 18 and older.

Eighteen percent said they were very likely to look for a job in the next year, while 30% said they were somewhat likely to do so.

Thirty eight percent said they were likely to change careers, either switching to a new industry/field, or a different position/role.

Gen Z were most likely to look for a new job in the next year (72%), followed by millennials at 61%, and Gen X at 46%. Millennials were most likely to switch careers, at 51%, followed by Gen Z (39%) and Gen X (34%). Boomers, at the tail end of their careers, were less likely to expect a job or career change, at 16% and 12%, respectively.

Nearly half of employed adults likely to look for job in next year

The survey also found that 44% are worried they will never find the perfect job. The opinion differs based on sector, with office-administrative (51%), industrial (48%), and professional-managerial (47%) workers being more pessimistic. Workers in the high-demand sectors of engineering/IT/science (32%) and health care (39%) were markedly less pessimistic about the prospects of finding the perfect job.

Students were more down on the idea of finding a perfect job (69%) compared to full-time (45%) and part-time (50%) workers.

"The U.S. is immersed in the tightest labor market in modern history with millions of unfilled openings across geographies and industries," said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. "It's a job seeker's market – a reality lost on many people who, as the ASA Workforce Monitor shows, sadly lack optimism about their prospects of finding a perfect position."

Two-thirds of Americans believe a recession is likely over the next year, according to the latest CNBC Invest in You survey, which polled 2,776 adults in October. The most recent model prediction from Bloomberg Economics, however, pegs the chance of a recession at 26% over the next 12 months.

The Harris Poll, which conducted the survey, is a part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm. Survey sponsor American Staffing Association (ASA) represents the US staffing and recruiting industry – which includes notable consulting firms such as Korn Ferry, Heidrick & Struggles, and Robert Half.