US Job Seekers Rushing to Find New Employment Before Recession Hits: Survey

US Job Seekers Rushing to Find New Employment Before Recession Hits: Survey
A "now hiring" sign hangs in a store window in the Manhattan borough of New York City on May 6, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Katabella Roberts
A number of Americans are racing to secure new jobs before a recession hits the country, according to a survey from the job posting website Joblist.

Joblist surveyed over 15,000 job seekers from across the country from April to June 2022 to find out how concerned they were about rising inflation and a potential economic downturn, as well as whether they regret walking away from their previous jobs during what has been dubbed the “Great Resignation.”

Of the more than 15,000 job seekers surveyed, 11,088 were asked about their outlook on the job market and expectations for the future, while 524 were asked about recession-related concerns specifically.

Another 628 respondents who quit their previous jobs were asked whether they regret their decision.

Nearly 48 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021 according to Federal Reserve Economic Data, and quitting levels remained high through the first half of 2022.

The survey found that over one in four people who quit their previous jobs (26 percent) regretted their decision, while 42 percent of those who found a new job after quitting their previous role said the new job “has not lived up to their expectations.”

The survey found that nearly half of job seekers (49 percent) believed the job market would get worse in the next six months, and as a result, 60 percent said they felt more urgency to find a new job before conditions in the job market change.

Two out of three job seekers reported that they were “worried” or “very worried” about a potential recession, with 80 percent stating they expected the United States to enter a recession in the next year.

Inflation Still on the Rise

The survey comes as prices continue to soar across the United States, with annual inflation reaching 9.1 percent in June, a 40-year high that’s greater than the 8.8 percent forecast by economists.
While the U.S. economy added 372,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate was at 3.6 percent, inflation continued to rise and recession fears were heightened.
Economist Mohamed El-Erian on July 13 sounded the alarm in a Twitter thread about a third wave of inflationary pressure that is building across the country and set to be “unleashed” failing swift action from the Federal Reserve.

El-Erian, the former CEO of American investment management firm PIMCO, noted that while inflation will likely come down over the next couple of months, a third wave of underlying causes of inflation will “be unleashed if the Fed doesn’t get its act together quickly.”

“With the first best policy option now long gone due to the first two stages of the ongoing Fed policy mistake, the recession risks are increasing accordingly,” El-Erian wrote on Twitter.

“This threatens a second big hit for households, especially the most vulnerable segments of our society,” he added.

Meanwhile, economists now widely believe that Fed officials will raise interest rates by another 75 basis points in July in an effort to combat sky-high inflation.

While fears abound over the cost of living and a potential recession on the horizon, the labor market is still showing signs of strength, with 11.3 million job openings at the end of May, marking nearly two jobs for every unemployed individual, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (pdf) reported.