The State of the American Job Seeker

Ominous headlines warning that robots are coming for our jobs are not in short supply as we head into 2018. Every time you turn on the news or listen to the radio, you hear that a robot will one day take your job.

So we understand why job seekers, employed and unemployed, have fears about automation. Our response as an organization dedicated to helping people find meaningful careers – is that there is no ready solution. The range of advice that is given is so broad – it’s not clear yet what an appropriate reaction should be, so most of the U.S. population is in a “wait and see” mode.

That leads us to our report: State of the American Job Seeker: AI, Automation, and Technological Change. Since our founding seven years ago, ZipRecruiter’s goal has been to help people find meaningful work and to help employers make successful long-term hires. We speak to job seekers and employers every day, and we’re acutely aware of their concerns.

That’s why ZipRecruiter engaged Harris Poll to conduct an online survey to understand the current state of the American job seeker (both employed and unemployed): their current satisfaction level with the job market, their feelings about technological advancements, and, of course, their take on automation and what it might mean for them. We did this to ensure that job seekers, employers, business leaders and their peers understand and can adapt to the changes impacting the jobs market – both now and into the future.

Signs indicate that the labor market is strong: unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 17 years and our survey found that 49% of the job seekers like or love their current job. Yet job seekers are concerned about automation – 2 in 5 employed job seekers (41%) believe their current job will be automated within their lifetime.

Let’s dive into the findings here and start a conversation — as we enter a more automated age, ZipRecruiter wants to help anyone who’s looking for a job or a better job. And we encourage all involved to #AutomateHumanely.


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At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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