My Account

You control your data

We and our partners use cookies to provide you with our services and, depending on your settings, gather analytics and marketing data. Find more information on our Cookie Policy. Tap "Settings” to set preferences. To accept all cookies, click “Accept”.

Settings Accept

Cookie settings

Click on the types of cookies below to learn more about them and customize your experience on our Site. You may freely give, refuse or withdraw your consent. Keep in mind that disabling cookies may affect your experience on the Site. For more information, please visit our Cookies Policy and Privacy Policy.

Choose type of cookies to accept


These cookies allow us to analyze our performance to offer you a better experience of creating resumes and cover letters. Analytics related cookies used on our Site are not used by Us for the purpose of identifying who you are or to send you targeted advertising. For example, we may use cookies/tracking technologies for analytics related purposes to determine the number of visitors to our Site, identify how visitors move around the Site and, in particular, which pages they visit. This allows us to improve our Site and our services.

Performance and Personalization

These cookies give you access to a customized experience of our products. Personalization cookies are also used to deliver content, including ads, relevant to your interests on our Site and third-party sites based on how you interact with our advertisements or content as well as track the content you access (including video viewing). We may also collect password information from you when you log in, as well as computer and/or connection information. During some visits, we may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, download errors, time spent on certain pages and page interaction information.


These cookies are placed by third-party companies to deliver targeted content based on relevant topics that are of interest to you. And allow you to better interact with social media platforms such as Facebook.


These cookies are essential for the Site's performance and for you to be able to use its features. For example, essential cookies include: cookies dropped to provide the service, maintain your account, provide builder access, payment pages, create IDs for your documents and store your consents.

To see a detailed list of cookies, click here.

Save preferences

Job Search Statistics for 2024 (Ultimate List)

Create Your Resume Now

Our customers have been hired by:

The year 2018 saw a major tipping point in recruiting and job search. For the first time in over 20 years, there are now more job openings than people to fill them. Then, the year 2020 came. And as with many other areas, you can be sure that the hiring landscape has changed forever.

But what does it mean for you, exactly? Is it good news (there will always be a job to apply for)? Or bad news (more jobs might mean more low-quality jobs)? Maybe it’s both?

In this article, we compile the most important, up-to-date job-search statistics you need to know in 2024 to boost your chances of landing the best jobs. But—

Rather than just present the data to you, we’ll show you how to use this knowledge to improve your job-seeking skills. (Plus, you’ll get a glimpse of what the dim and distant future might hold for all of us.)

Let’s start with a quick look at the broader picture.

The three key macroeconomic factors impacting recruitment and job search

  • In September 2019, the unemployment rate in the US hit 3.5%: the lowest it has been since 1969.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • In April 2020, there has been a major spike in unemployment: 14.8% due to job cuts related to the pandemic. Since then, the unemployment has been in steady decline, reaching 6.7% in December 2020.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Candidates are less willing to change jobs. In 2018, the average number of candidates per open requisition was the lowest ever, at just 29 (down from 36 in 2017 and 52 in 2016). 

(Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report)

  • AI and automation may threaten a quarter of U.S. jobs: currently 36 million American hold jobs categorized as “highly exposed” to automation.

(Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report)

What does the job search today look like in numbers? An overview

  • Recruiters believe hiring will become more competitive.

(Jobvite Recruiter Nation Study 2018)

  • At the same time, recruiters expect filling fewer positions.

(Jobvite Recruiter Nation Study 2018)

  • In 2017, 51% of U.S. employees said they were actively looking for a new job or casually watching for openings.

(Gallup, The State of the American Workplace Report, 2017)

  • Between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of Americans confident they can find a quality job more than doubled (from 19% to 42%).

(Gallup, The State of the American Workplace Report, 2017)

Now, some of the above numbers seem contrasting. 

If more and more Americans believe it will be easier for them to find good employment and over half of the workforce is open to new opportunities, why the number of applicants per position falls?

The most reasonable answer is: candidates can afford to be pickier and only apply for their dream positions.

The lesson? Don’t settle for the second best. 

The economy is on your side. If you’re currently employed but do entertain a thought of a change, wait for a perfect opportunity.

  • In 2018, on average, 12% of candidates who applied for jobs were asked for an interview. Out of those interviewed, 28% received a job offer.

(Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report)

  • While the percentage of applicants to interviews barely changes depending on the organization size, the interview-to-job-offer ratio is highest in companies with 5,000+ employees: 41% of candidates interviewed by the largest organizations receive a job offer (20% in companies with less than 500 employees).

(Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report)

  • The most competitive industry, looking from the candidate’s perspective, is hospitality with 46 applicants per position on average.

(Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report)

  • The least candidates, 18, apply for an average position in healthcare. 41% of healthcare candidates invited to an interview receive a job offer.

(Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report)

The bottom line? It’s easiest to get a job in a healthcare institution with over 5,000 employees. Statistically, the hardest positions to land are those in small organization in the hospitality industry.

What application sources are most popular?

  • Almost 50% of all applications come from Job Boards, followed by Internal Career Sites (35%). But less than 1% of candidates who apply for jobs through job boards and career sites are offered the position.

(Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report)

  • The most effective way to apply for jobs, in turn? Directly to the hiring manager! Out of all candidates who apply this way, a staggering 19% lands the job.

(Jobvite 2019 Recruiting Benchmark Report)

And yet—

Only 0.14% of candidates try to submit their resumes directly to the internal hiring manager.

If you want to gain an edge over most of your competition, this is the way to go.

Or is it?

See, the above statistics only refer to jobs that are posted online. But...

  • Depending on the source, between 70% (Forbes) and 85% (LinkedIn) of jobs are not posted online at all—these positions are filled via networking and internal referrals.
  • At the same time, more than half of job seekers say their preferred source for finding jobs is online. The second most popular method is hearing about it from a friend, preferred by 45% of candidates.

(Glassdoor, HR and Recruiting Stats for 2019)

I get it. Networking is awkward and uncomfortable. It sure is most convenient to simply apply for an online posting. But such an attitude cuts you out of the race for as many as 7 in 10 jobs.

How long does the job application process last?

  • For 58% of candidates hired since 2018, the process of the job search lasted less than 2 months. 43% say they received a job offer within 2 weeks of applying for a given position.

(Clutch, Statistics on the Average Job Search in 2018) 

  • The recruitment speed is fastest at startups (55% of recent startup hires got offered a job less than 2 weeks from applying).


  • The average time to fill a position was 40 days in 2018. Hiring is fastest in retail (25 days from job application to offer), and slowest in Real Estate (46 days), followed by Education and Financial Services (43 days in each industry).


  • When it comes to candidate preference, 62% say they would appreciate a process that is complete in less than 2 weeks.


  • Being selective in your job applications in the most popular strategy amongst candidates today. More than half of recent hires applied to 5 or fewer jobs in their last job search.


What about recruiters? Here’s a glimpse of their perspective and plans for the future

  • 67% of recruiters say their biggest challenge in hiring is the lack of skilled and high-quality candidates.


  • Quality of hire is more than 4 times more important for recruiters than the cost per hire.


  • Over 98% of Fortune500 companies use Applicant Tracking Systems and other hiring algorithms. 


  • The two most popular ATS are Taleo (used by 30% of companies) and Workday (16%).
  • 91% of tech companies planned to invest in sourcing tools and technology in 2018. 86% planned to invest in employer branding. 

(Entelo 2018 Recruiting Trends Report)

  • 64% of talent acquisition professionals planned to spend on AI-powered recruiting tools in 2019.


  • Only 22% of candidates feel enthusiastic about the “prospect of computers making hiring decisions.” 67% say the use of hiring algorithms makes them feel worried, with 21% claiming to be “extremely worried.”

(Pew Research Center, 2017)

  • Among those concerned about the development of computerized hiring, 41% say they’re most worried about the algorithms’ overlooking important attributes; 20% think computers are too impersonal.

(Pew Research Center, 2017)

  • 57% of Americans claim they have heard “nothing at all” about companies’ efforts to use algorithms for hiring decisions, though for 59% the concept seems at least somewhat realistic.

(Pew Research Center, 2017)

  • Hiring pros spend nearly 1/3 of their workweek actively sourcing candidates for a single role. One in three respondents say they spend half of their workweek on that.

(Entelo, 2018 Recruiting Trends Report)

  • April, May, and June are the busiest hiring months.

(Entelo, 2018 Recruiting Trends Report)

  • Almost 99% of all talent teams report passive candidates as an important source of hire.

(Entelo, 2018 Recruiting Trends Report)

  • The most popular channel to reach out to candidates is still email: over 50% of recruitment pros say it’s their most usual pick. LinkedIn InMail (30%) follows.

(Entelo, 2018 Recruiting Trends Report)

  • Almost 50% of recruiters say that social media will be their #1 investment when it comes to building an employer brand and sourcing candidates.


  • LinkedIn is becoming drastically less popular: only 77% of recruiters would use LinkedIn in 2018 as compared to 92% in 2017.


  • Other channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, are gaining popularity in recruitment. Especially Instagram: 35% of millennial recruiters and 63% of recruiters working in the tech industry used Instagram to source candidates in 2018—double the numbers from the previous year.


So, when recruiters do go search on social media, what is most important for them?

  • You’re likely to score bonus points with 60% of recruiters when your social media profiles show engagement in local or national NGOs or when you share samples of your written or design work.


  • What’s the most common deal-breaker? As many as 58% of recruiters would discard a candidate for references to Marijuana.


  • Compared to the previous year, recruiters now are 20% less likely to disqualify candidates for rude behavior, such as rudeness to the support staff or checking their phones during the interview.


  • You’re more likely to impress female recruiters than male recruiters with your work experience (60% of female recruiters vs 45% of male recruiters claim prior experience is of the highest priority to them).


  • What matters more for male recruiters, in turn, is your sense of humor (39% to 28%) and personal style (37% to 23%).


  • Didn’t land the job? Take heart. 77% of recruiters say they have, at least once, gone back and offered another job to a candidate who they’d initially rejected for a different opening.


The general outlook on your future career (and salary!)

  • The top factors believed to have benefited the careers of US employees are the growing emphasis on diversity (30% of respondents) and more women in the workforce (30%).

(Pew Research Center, 2017)

  • According to American workers who are employed or actively seeking employment, factors that have hurt their career most are: outsourcing jobs to other countries (30% of respondents) and the growing number of immigrants (22% of respondents). These views are most prevalent amongst white males with no college degree.

(Pew Research Center, 2017)

  • The booming economy means you’re in a better position when it comes to negotiating a salary. Three-quarters of recruiters have noticed an increase in candidates’ negotiating the initial salary in the past 12 months. They also say negotiating salary doesn’t have a negative impact on the recruitment outcome 62% of the time.


  • In 2017, 68% of businesses have increased salary offers for candidates, negotiating with candidates via external recruiters. 


  • Recruiters estimate they will pay entry-level employees an average of $56,532 in 2020 and 2021—a jump of over $10,000 compared to 2018.

(iCIMS, Class of 2018 Report)

  • More than half of all recruiters are most interested in hiring entry-level candidates with a degree in STEM.

(iCIMS, Class of 2018 Report)

  • In 2018, nearly half (43%) of all open jobs at tech employers were for non-technical roles.

(Glassdoor, HR and Recruiting Stats for 2019)

  • Less than 1 in 4 entry-level openings require a master’s degree, yet over half of surveyed companies have seen an increase in the number of candidates with a master’s degree applying for entry-level positions.

(iCIMS, Class of 2018 Report)

  • 45% of hiring pros in tech state that a coding boot camp is as meaningful qualification for a technical job as a college degree.

(iCIMS, Shifts & Trends in Tech Talent Qualifications & Needs, 2018)

  • More than half of U.S. companies will offer signing bonuses to new hires from business school. 

(GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey Report 2018)

  • Don’t have much work experience? Don’t worry. A four-year college degree is enough to make an entry-level candidate competitive according to 87% of recruiters. 

(iCIMS, Shifts & Trends in Tech Talent Qualifications & Needs, 2018)

  • The number of remote employees will increase by 50% in 2021 (probably even more as the data has not yet been updated post-Covid-19). 

(PWC, Talent Mobility 2020)

  • Up to 80% of millennials want to work abroad at some point of their career and that’s reflected by employer attitudes as well. More than 1 in 5 business leaders claim that global mobility has become their #1 priority in attracting and retaining talent. 

(PWC, Talent Mobility 2020)

  • On the other hand, currently only 23% of companies have a structured process for applying for international assignments. 

(Brookfield Global Relocation Services, Global Mobility Trends)

Top 10 Job-Search Statistics All Job Seekers Should Know in 2024

  • 36 million Americans have jobs identified as “highly exposed” to automation.
  • 51% of American employees admit they were actively looking for a new job in 2017.
  • 12% of all candidates who applied for jobs were invited to an interview. Out of those interviewed, 28% got a job offer in 2018.
  • 50% of job applications come from job boards. Internal career sites attract 35% of applications.
  • 67% of recruiters identify the lack of skilled and high-quality candidates as the biggest challenge in hiring.
  • 77% of recruiters state they have reached out and offered another job to a candidate they’d initially rejected for a different opening.
  • 43% of all open jobs at tech employers were for non-technical positions in 2018.
  • 80% of Millennials want to work abroad during their careers.
  • 40 days was the average time to fill a position in 2018.

Key Takeaway

The key takeaway here is actually whatever feels most important to you, personally.

My quick picks?

  1. Even despite the Covid-19 hiccup, the economy is still on your side. There are more jobs than ever, you can afford to be picky.
  2. It’s more than okay to negotiate a salary the hard way during your interview process. You’re more likely to succeed than ever before.
  3. AI will play an important role in recruitment. Make sure your application documents are ATS-friendly.
  4. Be mindful of your online presence and social media profiles—especially what you post on Facebook. Zucc’s playground is growing in importance when it comes to hiring.
  5. Last but surely not least: if you want to maximize your chances of landing the job, apply directly to the hiring manager!

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what you think about the future of job search. Scary? Exciting? What stats surprised you the most? Let me know in the comments, let’s get the discussion going!

About Us

Zety is your expert employment guide. Choose from a collection of 20+ resume templates, look at good cover letter examples, prep with our professional interview tips, and send a follow-up email after the interview for the best results.

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

Rate my article: job search statistics
Average: 4.83 (24 votes)
Thank you for voting
Michael Tomaszewski, CPRW
Michael is a career expert and a Certified Professional Resume Writer. With his extensive knowledge of the job market, he provides practical advice and strategies for navigating the recruitment process and advancing your career.

Similar articles