More Fun Stats From The Good Ol’ BLS: How Do People Find Jobs?

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There’s nothing we like more than statistics* so here’s some numbers we dug up from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey.

In 2008 (2009 numbers aren’t yet available), out of the 8.9 million people unemployed at some point during the year, more than half (56.9) of jobseekers sought out employers directly. (Note that this doesn’t say which methods worked, just what people have tried.) 52 percent sent out resumes or filled out applications, the sort of standard method we’d expect to see on any list. Only 17 percent of all unemployed people bothered answering want ads, either online or in the paper; under a quarter (23 percent) tried networking through friends and relatives.

Jobseekers on average tried only 1.9 of these methods, which also included going to a private or public employment agency and the mysterious “Other.”

The numbers are broken down by sex and there aren’t a huge number of differences between the sexes, but we found these two stats interesting: About 6 percent more women than men sent out resumes, and about 5 percent more men than women hit up their friends for help. Does this mean anything? Maybe? The stereotype of women is that they don’t network, aren’t good at networking, whatever, but we’ve seen this repeatedly not to be the case. What do you think? And are you surprised by any of these numbers? We’re a bit surprised that more than half of people approached their target companies directly…

*This could not be further from the truth.