Top Employment and Career Stats in 2021

by | Career Advice Expert

We spend roughly one-third of our lives at work.

That’s nearly 100,000 hours over the course of a lifetime, and it doesn’t take into account the 100 hours per year we spend commuting.

Those are high stakes, and that’s why it’s important to land a great job.

We gathered recent career and employment research to find the most important facts and figures that every job seeker should know. Consider this your definitive overview of employment and career stats in 2020.

To whet your appetite, here are 24 points of interest:

  • Precise Orange

    You should be thorough and precise when you write your resume.

    1 Customizing your resume for every job is the No. 1 way of getting an advantage over other applicants, hiring managers say.

    2 Typos are the most common reason resumes are tossed in the trash.

    3 A huge majority of HR professionals (85%) uncovered a lie or misrepresentation on a candidate’s resume or job application during the screening process.

    4 Beware of racial bias in the resume review process. Studies have shown hiring managers respond more favorably to resumes that don’t include ethnic details.

  • Workplace Orange

    Our research shows it's easier to find workplace satisfaction in a booming job market.

    5 Job satisfaction is the highest it’s been in over two decades (54%) but worker engagement is lagging behind (34%).

    6 A majority of workers remain open to new opportunities, and they’re getting more comfortable negotiating for higher salaries. Today, 60 percent of job seekers report being comfortable negotiating their compensation, up from 51 percent in 2018.

    7 Job-hopping is declining. Only 16 percent of Americans say they change jobs every 1-3 years, down from 20 percent in 2017.

    8 Several studies say that company culture is the No. 1 influence on employee satisfaction, especially for people who are highly educated and have children.

  • Recruiter Orange

    We found hiring managers and recruiters are very open about what they're looking for from job applicants in 2020.

    9 In interviews, hiring managers are most interested in hearing about your experiences managing conflict (69%) and learning from mistakes (68%).

    10 These days, hiring managers and HR professionals say they’re more likely to select a candidate based on their emotional intelligence than IQ (71%).

    11 The No. 1 way hiring managers find candidates is through employee referrals. When they look outside their network, recruiters are partial to LinkedIn and Indeed.

    12 In a tight labor market, recruiters say their biggest challenge is simply finding enough good candidates.

  • Seeker Orange

    And job seekers increasingly have the upper hand in landing the job they want.

    13 New jobs are not being distributed equally: 27 percent of rural workers are having a hard time finding a job (compared with 17 percent of city dwellers), and 21 percent of those without a college degree are having a hard time (compared with 16 percent of those with a degree).

    14 A tighter labor market has job seekers feeling bold: 19 percent of workers say they turned down a job after signing an official offer, and 83 percent of employers say they’ve been “ghosted” at some point in the hiring process.

    15 People are increasingly applying for jobs on mobile devices, which is hurting application completion rates. On mobile devices, job seekers successfully complete 53 percent fewer applications and it takes them 80 percent longer to do so.

    16 Applicants’ No. 1 complaint about companies is that they’re being left in the dark on the status of their application: 72 percent of people say they’d appreciate an email acknowledgement when their application is received.

  • Woman Logo Orange

    More women than men are attaining degrees. But even with advanced degrees, women aren't being equally represented in leadership roles, showing that the glass ceiling is still real

    17 In law firms, women represent (45%) of associates, but only (22%) of partners, and in academia, women have earned the majority of doctorate degrees, but they only make up (32%) of full professors.

    18 The overwhelming majority of corporate boards are dominated by men. In 2018, men held (76%) of S&P 500 board seats, while women held (24%).

    19 According to the National Women’s Law Center women in the United States still earn only 82 cents for every dollar paid to a male counterpart, with women of color having an even greater gender wage gap and significant cumulative lifetime wage loss.

    20 Eighty-six percent of women recall being taught to be nice to others growing up. Forty-four percent say they were taught to be a good leader, and (34%) were taught to share their point of view.

  • Combined Shape

    Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials currently comprise 35% of the U.S. workforce — with career development as their top priority.

    21 Forty-five percent of millennials say a job that accelerates their career development is “very important” to them, compared to 31% of Gen Xers and 18% of baby boomers.

    22 A healthy benefits package is a huge factor as well, with 96% of millennials stating they take benefits into account when applying for a job.

    23 Most feel compelled to stay connected with work. Nearly 63% of Gen Zers and 52% of millennials check work email or texts outside of office hours.

    24 Millennials are just as willing as Gen X to stay on their career path — as long as it’s offering them plenty of opportunities. Forty-three percent of millennials listed ‘Dissatisfaction with pay’ as their top reason for leaving a job, with 35% sighting ‘Not enough opportunities to advance.’

From the first resume submission to the final interview, these employment and career stats prepare you for every stop of your job search journey. Read these reports, get informed and you’ll be in a better position to land the job you seek.

About the Author

About the Author