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Job seekers don’t feel urgency to get back to work, that could change in the fall, survey finds

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Posted at 10:04 AM, Jun 30, 2021

Employers across the country have been increasing new hire benefits and offering increased wages or signing bonuses as they struggle to hire for more than 9 million job openings. At the same time, unemployment remains elevated and the millions of people out of work do not appear to be snapping up these available jobs.

A recent survey from finds many unemployed Americans do not feel an urgency to find a job right away, but plan to return to the workforce sometime in the next three months.

“Many employers want to ramp up hiring quickly, but a large portion of job seekers are hesitant to start jobs now,” the online job site said.

About 40% of the participants said they were only “passively searching” for jobs right now, and another 10% said they are actively looking but not for an immediate position. About 30% of participants said they were “not open to searching” either because they have a job or for other reasons.

The ongoing infection rates of coronavirus are a major factor for those who do not feel pressured to re-enter the workforce.

Nearly 25% said concerns about COVID-19 are the reason they are “not urgently” searching for a job. That percentage is higher among participants without a college degree, who are more likely to end up in jobs that require more in-person contact like retail or food service.

The three other major reasons people gave for not urgently seeking a job include “care responsibilities,” likely for school-age children, as well as being able to rely on a spouse who is employed and having a financial cushion.

Just 10% of respondents said enhanced unemployment benefits were a reason for delaying their job search.

Many of those who said they were not seeking to start a job immediately said they were waiting for either a higher vaccination rate in their region or for school to restart this fall.