Job search statistics 2024

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From changes in job availability to the average job search length, the job market is still experiencing the ripple effects of recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 2024, the average job search in the U.S. lasted 19.9 weeks, an 11.2% year-over-year decrease. Despite this, fewer jobs are available now than in recent years. Approximately 8.5 million job openings were reported in March 2024, which was down 29.4% from March 2022.

Limited employment prospects in such a competitive professional arena make it even more critical for jobseekers to stay on top of job search trends, whether that means adapting to the newfound popularity of remote work or taking advantage of the fastest-growing job sites.

Key insights

As of April 2024, the average job search took 19.9 weeks, an 11.2% decrease from one year prior.

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There were 8.49 million job openings in the U.S. as of March 2024, a 29.4% decrease from the 12.03 million job openings two years prior in March 2022.

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As of 2023, the U.S. employment rate is 60.3%, a significant increase from the 56.8% employment rate in 2020.

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The fastest-growing job search site is College Recruiter, which enjoyed a 637.1% increase in global traffic between January 2021 and March 2023.

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Job search statistics

A job search can be a difficult process for anyone, regardless of their experience level or qualifications. In fact, an estimated 75% of resumes are rejected by applicant tracking systems before they even reach human hands. When a resume does reach a hiring manager, it will only be screened for an average of 7.4 seconds.

This selective environment on the employer side of the job hunt is partially responsible for the lengthy amount of time it takes jobseekers to secure employment. But changing preferences among would-be employees may also prolong the search.

A May 2023 survey by the job search site FlexJobs found that 95% of workers prefer work environments that are either fully remote or hybrid, i.e., a mix of in-office and remote work. But only 81% of remote-capable jobs in the U.S. actually offer that kind of flexibility, creating a gap in expectations between employers and the workforce.

Job openings by month

As of March 2024, there were 8.49 million job openings in the U.S. That’s an 11.7% decrease from one year prior, when there were 9.62 million job openings, and it’s a 29.4% decrease from the 12.03 million job openings in March 2022. While it’s worth noting that job openings naturally fluctuate from month to month, overall there has also been a steady decline recorded since 2022.

Employment rates by year

The U.S. employment rate was 60.3% in 2023. While this was an improvement over the rates in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak, it’s still far lower than the 64.4% employment rate that Americans enjoyed in the year 2000, which was the highest employment rate since 1990. Recent trends haven’t been particularly encouraging, as the employment rate increased by only 0.3 percentage points between 2022 and 2023, markedly less than the 1.6 percentage point increase between 2021 and 2022.

A general downturn in employment has been observed since the start of the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007. Between 2007 and 2011, the employment rate fell from 63% to 58.4%. The rate slowly began to recover in the years following the end of the crisis, peaking at 60.8% in 2019. However, in 2020, the rate once again fell to its lowest point in decades, and it’s still nowhere near its pre-2007 level.

How are jobs filled in the U.S.?

There were 11,953 employment agencies recorded in the U.S. as of April 2024. These companies employ 265,031 people, a figure that increased by about 1.4% between 2018 and 2023.

Although employment and recruitment agencies are a vital part of the job search process, it’s estimated that as much as 75% of current positions are filled through the hidden job market, i.e., job vacancies that aren’t formally advertised. By networking, making their social media profiles appealing to potential employers and/or reaching out to those employers themselves, jobseekers stand a much higher chance of landing a job.

What are the fastest-growing job search sites?

In the digital age, job search websites drive a considerable portion of the job-hunting process. These sites are numerous and highly competitive, with many new options having popped up and grown in popularity over the years.

Between January 2021 and March 2023, the fastest-growing job search site was College Recruiter, which experienced a 637.1% increase in global traffic during that period. The second and third fastest-growing job search sites were JustRemote and NoDesk, but their growth rates lagged far behind College Recruiter, with only 181.9% and 181.1% traffic growth during that period, respectively.

How many people apply for the same job?

A number of factors determine how many people will apply for the same job, with one major variable being the industry in which the job operates.

Broken down by industry, the hospitality field saw the largest average number of applications per job opening in 2018, at an average of 46 per job. On the other hand, health care openings garnered the fewest applications among the industries surveyed, averaging only 18 per job.

Another major factor that determines a job opening’s competitiveness is its flexibility, as interest in remote positions significantly exceeds availability. In December 2023, only 10% of LinkedIn’s U.S. job postings were for remote roles, yet those postings received 46% of all applications submitted on the platform.


How many days does it take to find a new job?

It takes an average of 139 days, or 19.9 weeks, to find a new job. The median job search length is 61 days.

Will the number of job openings decrease in 2024?

Based on recent trends, the number of job openings will likely decrease throughout 2024. As of June 2022, total U.S. employment surpassed the pre-pandemic peak from February 2020, contributing to fewer job openings. Between March 2022 and March 2024, the number of job openings fell from 12.03 million to 8.49 million, a considerable 29.4% decrease.

As employment rates continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, job openings will likely continue to decline.

How many applications does it take to get a job?

Jobseekers who submit between 21 and 80 applications have about a 30.9% probability of receiving a job offer. By comparison, the probability of receiving a job offer for those who submit one to 10 applications is 27.2%. This rises to about 29.5% for those who submit between 11 and 20 applications.


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