Job Seekers See New Positions on the Horizon

December 31, 2003 ( - Job seekers are seeing a ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy employment picture heading into the new year.

Half of the jobless callers to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc’s free advice call-in expected to have a new job nailed down in three months, while 92% expect to find a position in six months or less.Less than 5% thought it would take 10 to 12 months. The average expected job search time among callers was 4.2 months.

However, if the optimistic half’s forecast holds true, those seeing a new career in the next three months, then in would represent a 21% improvement from the 3.8 months it is currently taking people the secure employment. “There is clearly a belief that the job market will turn around soon,” said Rick Cobb, executive vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Further supporting the notion that job seeker optimism is turning around is thatthe average caller had been out of work for 15.6 months; with nearly 36% being out of work for 13 months or longer. Fourteen percent have been unemployed for 25 months or more.

“Callers have obviously been affected by recent economic reports indicating that the economy is gaining strength and that a job rebound may soon follow. The Challenger quarterly survey of job search times among executives and managers – which historically has been a consistent indicator of overall hiring trends six months in advance – showed a significant decline in the average job search in the second quarter of 2003,” said Cobb.

The survey was conducted among the approximately 1,200 job seekers who called during the 18th annual two-day public service event.