Unemployed and Unmotivated: New Survey Finds that Over Half of Unemployed Americans Are Feeling the Job Hunt Burnout, Big Time

As the job search continues for unemployed Americans, a national survey reveals what is causing a lack of motivation and why drastic times may call for drastic measures

ATLANTAAug. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A competitive job market, a lack of applicable jobs, low self-confidence and an inability to interview well are all contributing factors in unemployed American workers’ lack of success in securing employment. Further, unemployed American workers are experiencing a massive case of job hunt burnout, according to a new survey from Insight Global, a leading national staffing company.

The survey, conducted in July among 501 recently unemployed adults actively seeking employment, revealed that 55 percent of them have been searching for a new job for so long that they are completely burnt out. Furthermore, recently unemployed full-time workers say they have applied to an average of around 30 jobs and have only received an average of four callbacks or responses.

This trend, which is creating a lack of motivation amongst unemployed Americans, is hitting highest among the Gen Z generation, with survey results revealing that two-thirds (66%) of unemployed Gen Z job seekers have looked for a job for so long that they are burnt out from looking, the highest percentage of any other generational cohort surveyed.

“It’s no wonder that so many unemployed Americans are feeling unmotivated – between several years of a volatile job market, headcount reductions, budget cuts, hiring freezes and a total overhaul of the way companies are running their businesses, it can feel downright impossible to get back on track,” said Bert Bean, CEO of Insight Global. “There is certainly a lot of work that goes into submitting applications, trying to network, going through interviews, and conducting follow up…only to do it all over again and again.”

In fact, many unemployed Americans are saying that they won’t do it all over again and instead are willing to make career shifts or take drastic measures to both make and save money. Survey results revealed that:

  • More than 2 in 5 recently unemployed workers (43%) say they have no problem, feel there is no shame or prefer to live at home with their parents.
  • More than 2 in 5 recently unemployed full-time workers (43%) say they would rather create an Etsy business or thrift flip than send out another blast of resumes.
  • Over a third of recently unemployed full-time workers (36%) say they would rather drive for a delivery or rideshare service than send out another blast of resumes.
  • Forty-four percent of Gen Z respondents admit they would rather get a sugar daddy or sugar mommy than send out another blast of resumes.

But despite the unemployed being unmotivated in their job search, Bean recommends changing the narrative and thinking about the market in new ways. He suggests the following tips to beat job hunting burnout and get back in the game:

  • Rethink Remote: Survey results reveal that over 1 in 5 (21%) recently unemployed millennials feel they are still unemployed because they will only apply to remote job opportunities. Closing yourself off to jobs just because they require face time is going to significantly limit what is available to you. My advice is to be open to either hybrid work opportunities or even those that require full time in the office. It helps with colleague connections and produces a level of productivity that I personally feel is most attainable when you’re together.
  • Stand Out in the Crowd: While just over a quarter of unemployed full-time workers feel that there are no jobs available for their skillset or there is too much competition for available jobs, I urge candidates to turn this into a positive. Find a way to stand out in the crowd – maybe it’s creating an online, interactive version of your resume, maybe it’s actually stopping by a company’s office in person for a quick hello, or maybe it’s just not stopping until you hear back. I think that those who work hard and do whatever it takes to get their foot in the door will be the ones who will see the most success.
  • Burn the Burnout: There is no doubt that job hunting can be exhausting and take a toll on your overall well-being. I encourage candidates to find small wins and stack them. Find productive things you can accomplish to help you mentally. It could be getting in better shape, completing a 5K, journaling everyday for a month, or making five new connections on LinkedIn every day. Find those things that help you feel productive and reminds you what it feels like to win again.
  • Don’t Write Anything Off: Interestingly enough, over a quarter of recently unemployed men (26%) said they are still unemployed because the jobs they hear back from are beneath them. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take preconceived notions like this and leave them at the door. So many companies offer opportunities for promotions and upskilling, so my advice is to look past the specific outlined role and see what else might be possible in the future with that organization.
  • Reach for Resources: There is no reason you should go at it alone when trying to get back in the workforce. Companies like Insight Global are here to help you shape up your resume, brush up on interview skills, boost your confidence and connect you with companies and opportunities that fit the bill. Insight Global even has its Be The Light tour, which offers these very opportunities at select cities around the country. Be willing to accept help from professionals and you’ll put yourself in a better position for landing a job.

“It’s important to remember that just like anything, the job market goes in waves and can experience drastic highs and lows – with this in mind, there will be a time when things start to feel a bit less difficult,” said Bean. “While I know it can feel overwhelming to land an opportunity that gets you out of the unemployment circuit while also fulfilling your professional goals, anything is possible with hard work and a lot of heart.”

Insight Global is an international staffing and services company specializing in sourcing IT, accounting, finance, healthcare, and engineering professionals and delivering service-based solutions to Fortune 1000 clients. With more than 70 office locations throughout the U.S., Canada, and U.K., Insight Global placed more than 50,000 people in jobs in 2022. In addition to staffing services, Insight Global provides culture consulting, DEI training, specialized healthcare and semiconductor staffing and resources, and an array of client programs through their managed services division, Evergreen. To find out more, visit www.insightglobal.com.