Job Seekers Are Optimistic About Getting a Job in 2012

Year-end poll reveals mixed sentiments among those looking for work in 2012.

Despite the buzz around accelerated job creation initiatives last year, 2011 turned out to be a major disappointment for many job seekers. So what are job seekers expecting the employment market to look like in 2012?

Not surprisingly, sentiments about job search prospects in 2012 are mixed. An annual, year-end poll by job placement provider Challenger, Gray & Christmas has revealed that while job seekers are generally more optimistic about this year’s job market than they were last year, many continue to be concerned about the duration of time it will take them to secure a new position.

Based on a random sampling of 600 callers to a job search hotline:

  • 30% estimate they will find a new job within three months – up from 18% at year-end 2010.
  • Approximately 10% of job seekers believe their job search will last more than 12 months, compared to the 4% of job seekers who expected a yearlong job search in 2010.
  • In 2010, the percentage of unemployed callers stood at 81%. This year’s poll indicated a slight decrease with 77% of job hunting callers reporting they are currently out of work.

“There was a lot more uncertainty a year ago. Almost half of last year’s callers had no idea how long the job search would take. This year, callers were either certain of the job market’s improvement or certain of its continued weakness,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, referencing the increase in both optimistic and pessimistic callers.

On a positive note, the expectations reported by most of the callers appear to be in line with the realities of the employment marketplace, which may indicate the U.S. workforce is becoming more informed and educated about the hiring landscape.

Challenger adds, “Overall, the majority of callers – 65 percent – felt they would find a job in six months or less. That is a pretty realistic assessment. In a healthy economy, a successful job search might take two to three months. In a tight job market, such as the one we are in now, it is not unusual to see even high- quality candidates take four to six months.”

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