Jobless Turning Down Lower Salaried Offers

September 23, 2010 ( – Fifty-four percent of jobless workers in a new poll who have received an employment offer say the salary was more than 25% below their most previous earnings level.

The survey by Personified, CareerBuilder’s talent consulting arm, found 17% of the unemployed respondents have been offered a job and, of that group, 92% turned it down.

According to a news release, 14% of unemployed women stated they had been offered at least one position during their unemployment compared to 20% of jobless men, who reported a higher incidence of offers falling short of salary expectations. Fifty-six percent of men said the pay offered was more than 25% below their previous salary compared to 49% of women.

Insufficient pay was the number one reason unemployed workers turned down a job opportunity. Other factors cited include a long commute, a lower title, the position being outside of their field, little room for career advancement and a poor hiring process.

“Employers are adding jobs at a gradual, but steady pace and workers are feeling a greater sense of optimism in their job prospects,” said Mary Delaney, President of Personified, in the news release “Rather than jumping on the first job offer that comes their way, workers are assessing which opportunities really make the most sense for them in terms of compensation and long-term potential.”

While finding a job is a full-time job in itself, nearly one-in-five unemployed workers (18%) reported they spend five hours or less, on average, searching for a job each week. Thirty percent allocate over 20 hours. In terms of job applications, nearly two-thirds of unemployed workers (62%) apply to more than ten jobs per week on average.

Comparing educational levels, workers with no college degree look more frequently and apply more often to jobs than those with a college diploma. Those with a post-graduate degree are the most aggressive in their job search activity, reporting a higher frequency of looking for jobs and applying to a greater number of jobs than other groups.

Earning level also influenced frequency of job search. Workers who previously earned $100,000 or more reported allocating more time to job search than those in other earnings brackets.

According to the news release, one of the biggest concerns unemployed workers face is the termination of health benefits. Forty-nine percent of all unemployed workers reported they do not have health insurance. Among workers who have been unemployed for more than a year, the number is 55%.

The survey was conducted online among 925 unemployed workers in the U.S. from August 4 to August 27, 2010.