Key Career/ Employment Stats for Journalists

by Don Sjoerdsma | Career Advice Expert

This page contains facts and statistics that provide insights on the careers/employment space, including info on job seekers, hiring managers and employers.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Clock Timer

Recruiters spend an average of 7 seconds reviewing a resume.

Source TheLadders

Recruiters say they will dismiss candidates based on the following resume characteristics:

Resume Characteristics Mb

In 2017, 85 percent of HR professionals uncovered a lie or misrepresentation on a candidate's resume or job application during the screening process — up from 66 percent 5 years prior.

Source HireRight

HR Recruiter Mb

"Whitening" resumes (i.e., removing ethnic details) leads to a greater response from employers.

Whitening Resumes Mb

Job Search


A record 47 percent of the workforce say now is a good time to find a quality job.

Source Gallup

A lot of job seekers (45%) say it's harder to find a job in 2019 than it was in 2018.

Source Gallup

More workers (19%, up from 11% in 2018) say they turned down a job after signing an official offer but before their first day.

Source Jobvite

Most employers (83%) say they've been ghosted at some point in the hiring process.

Source Indeed

This is where job seekers look for jobs:

Jobseeker Looks Mb

Source Gallup
Rural Workers

Rural workers (27%) are more likely to say they're having a hard time than city dwellers (17%).

Source Gallup
Wo Collegedegree

Those without a college degree (21%) say they're having a harder time than those who have a degree (16%).

Source Gallup

Only 12 percent of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees.

Source Gallup

Sixty-one percent of workers say career growth opportunities are more important than compensation (57%) and health care/retirement benefits (58%).

Source Jobvite

Job seekers' top five biggest frustrations in the job search:

Five Biggest Frustation Mb


An average of 38 days pass between the job posting and first interview.

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers

Job seekers successfully complete 53 percent fewer applications on mobile devices and it takes them 80 percent longer to do so.

Source : Glassdoor Economic Research

Job Skills & Sectors

The 10 most frequently cited skills in job ads:

  • Customer service
  • Communication skills
  • Scheduling
  • Written communication
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Multitasking
  • Sales
  • Physical demand
  • Teamwork
Source LiveCareer
Grp People

Fifty-seven percent of leaders say soft skills are more important than hard skills.

Source LinkedIn

The most in-demand soft skills are:

  • Creativity
  • Persuasion
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Time Management
Source LinkedIn
Analyze Data

Most businesses (63%) are actively looking for candidates who demonstrate their ability to use, work with and analyze data.

Source: IBM Report

The top three sectors carrying job gains in 2019 were:

Top Three Sec Mb

Hiring Managers & Recruiters

Multi People

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

Source Top Echelon

Managing conflict (69%) and learning from mistakes (68%) were most valued by hiring managers as very important qualities to highlight during your interview.

Source netQuote
Mb Msg

Two-thirds (64%) of workers who received a text message from a recruiter after an interview said they preferred this type of communication over email or phone call.

Source Jobvite

How recruiters find candidates:

Find Candidate Mb

Source SHRM

Where recruiters get the best response rate from candidates:

Response Rate Mb


Hiring managers are taking an average of 33 days between the interview and a job offer, which is an increase of 84 percent from 2010 to 2018.

Source: Gartner

Top complaints candidates lodge with recruiters:

Top Companies Mb

Applicant Tracking System

About 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) in their hiring process to do a first scan of resumes.

Source Jobscan

The use of ATS prevents about 75 percent of resumes from being seen by human eyes.

Source Preptal

Employers offer the following benefits:

Employer Offers Mb

Source Gallup

Today's job seekers have established the following as "essential" benefits:

Essential Benefits Mb

Source Jobvite

Here's what today's job seekers would like to see most as "extra" benefits:

Extra Benefits Mb

Source Jobvite

Generations in the Workplace

In 2016, 45 percent of workers age 55 and older were expected to retire after age 65, up from 15 percent of such workers in the 1996 survey.

Source Population Reference Bureau

While 10,000 baby boomers retire every day, only 5,900 leave the workforce.

Source Population Reference Bureau

Forty-four percent of millennials — those born between 1981 and 1997 — are people of color.

Source Brookings Institute

In 2018, just under half (48%) of post-millennials/Generation Z — those born between 1997 and 2012 — were people of color.

Source Pew Research Center

In 2016, millennials surpassed Generation Xers to become the single largest generational group in the U.S. labor force.

Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Roughly a third of Americans in the labor force (35%) are millennials.

Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Forty-two percent of Gen Zers, age 17 to 23, are already gainfully employed in either full- or part-time jobs or as freelancers.

Source McKinsey

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

Source Pew Research Center

The most in-demand job for Gen Z is software engineer, accounting for 19 percent of Gen Z job applications.

Source Glassdoor Economic Research

Forty-seven percent of Gen Zers admit to texting during meetings while only 22 percent of baby boomers do.

Source Randstad U.S. and Future Workplace

Plus, Gen Z employees are three times more likely than baby boomers (60% and 22%, respectively) to use technology for personal reasons during the workday.

Source Randstad U.S. and Future Workplace

Sixty-three percent (nearly two-thirds) of Gen Zers frequently or sometimes check work email or texts outside of office hours; – only 38 percent of baby boomers do the same.

Source Randstad U.S. and Future Workplace

Forty-seven percent of working millennials now say they freelance in some capacity.

Source Upwork

Gen Z and millennials both cite "long hours" as their No. 1 workplace con.

Source Glassdoor Economic Research

Women in the Workforce

In 2018, there were nearly 76 million women age 16 and older in the labor force, representing 47 percent of the total labor force.

Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fifty-seven percent of women participate in the labor force as compared to 69 percent of men.

Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Women's labor force participation rate peaked in 1999 at 60 percent. It began a more significant decline after the Great Recession and is projected to be 55 percent in 2024 and 52 percent in 2060.

Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

For the class of 2016–2017, women earned more than half of bachelor's degrees (57%), master's degrees (59%), and doctorate degrees (53%).

Source National Center for Education Statistics

Women have earned more bachelor's degrees than men since 1982, more master's degrees than men since 1987, and more doctorate degrees than men since 2006.

Source National Center for Education Statistics

In 2018, women held 52 percent of all management, professional, and related occupations.

Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2018, men held 76 percent of S&P 500 board seats, while women held 24 percent.

Source Spencer Stuart

In the top 200 companies in the S&P 500, only six percent of board seats were held by women of color.

Source Spencer Stuart

In 2018, men held 77 percent of Fortune 500 board seats, while women held 23 percent.

Source Alliance of Board Diversity

Only five percent of Fortune 500 board seats were held by women of color.

Source Alliance of Board Diversity

Women in the United States earn approximately 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, according to some estimates.

Source National Women's Law Center

Women ages 25 to 34 earn 89 cents for every dollar a man in the same age group earn.

Source Pew Research Center

Twenty-seven percent of women are likely to negotiate their salary, compared with 38 percent of men.

Source Jobvite

Women are more likely than men (39% vs. 29%) to consider flexible hours and remote work one of the most important factors in looking for new opportunities.

Source Jobvite

Men are more likely than women (66% vs. 57%) to consider growth within the company a key factor.

Source Jobvite

Social Media

Grp People 1

About a third of workers (35%) say they almost entirely learn about job openings on social platforms, and 41 percent of younger workers are most likely to search for jobs there.

Source: Top Echelon

Recruiters say LinkedIn is their No. 1 resource for finding top candidates:

Finding Top Candidate Mb

Social Media

The vast majority of organizations (84%) currently recruit on social media and an additional nine percent plan on using it.

Source SHRM

Nearly a quarter of employers (22%) who check out candidates on social media are looking for a reason to not hire the candidate. They're also checking for:

Candidates On Social Media Mb

Employer say they've rejected candidates for finding the following content on their social media profiles:

Rejected Candidates Mb 1

Nearly half of employers (47%) say that if they can't find a candidate online, they are less likely to call him or her in for an interview.

Source CareerBuilder

Fifty-five percent of job seekers say they've decided against applying for a job after reading a negative review of the company.

Source Career Arc

As of September 2018, only 18 percent of adults in the U.S. had altered a social media account when they were applying for jobs.

Source Morning Consult

About the Author

Don Sjoerdsma

About the Author

Don Sjoerdsma

Career Advice Expert

Don is a writer, researcher and content strategist with a proven track record in building cross-platform content plans in diverse sectors. He has written extensively on topics related to careers and employment, including interviewing, resumes, cover letters and the job search. His work has appeared on, The Huffington Post, Yahoo! and LiveCareer. He holds an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, where he specialized in media innovation.

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