Employment market remains active as job seekers look to climb the career ladder, new CompTIA tracking survey finds

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (July 12, 2023) — Active job seekers remain generally upbeat about employment opportunities while also acknowledging changing conditions, according to the mid-year release of CompTIA’s “Job Seeker Trends” tracking survey.

Approximately 27% of the labor market, representing more than 40 million workers, reported actively pursuing a new job or career change during the past 90 days, a figure consistent with prior waves of this research. Among those seeking new employment nearly 40% characterize the current job market as very strong or strong versus 26% indicating it is weak or very weak, with the remainder in the middle.

“Putting aside the usual noise of labor market chatter, this latest data confirms the resiliency of job seekers and employers,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA. “Employers across every sector of the economy remain hungry for talent, while job seekers are committed to reaching the next rung on the career ladder.”

The findings reveal about 4 in 10 job seekers were prompted by a specific factor to begin their career change exploration, while 60% reported a culmination of factors over time. A net 72% indicated feeling dissatisfied with the trajectory of their career and needing a change, a figure that is slightly higher among Millennials.

Despite a slight pullback in job seekers planning to transition into a completely new career area (56% now vs. 61% last year), large numbers express interest in a range of fields. Most of which will require a base level of digital skills literacy, according to 86% of job seekers.

“Technology consistently ranks as a top five career choice but given the vast life-changing opportunities in this space, we can do better,” Thibodeaux said. “Barriers such as the confidence gap, unnecessary four-year-degree requirements and inadequate career on-ramps require a full commitment on many fronts to overcome.”

The top factor job seekers consider when evaluating a job opportunity are higher pay and better benefits, cited by 67% of respondents. Other considerations include job security and stability (40%), options to work from home or work remotely (39%) and better work-life balance and personal wellbeing (36%).

Conversely, job seekers indicate they will shy away from employment prospects because of “red flags” with the hiring manager or teams (43%) and a lack of transparency about pay and benefits during the hiring process (43%). Additionally, a segment of job seekers voice frustration with automated application systems. With many employers increasingly moving towards AI-enabled platforms, they may screen out viable candidates through opaque assessments.

Among job seekers considering a transition into the tech workforce, one-half believe earning an industry-recognized technical certification will help their chances. Other strategies they intend to deploy include training for in-demand technical skills (46%), developing a career change plan (36%) and seeking career guidance from someone currently working in tech (32%).    

CompTIA’s “Job Seeker Trends” is based on an online survey of 1,003 people by the research firm Morning Consult in May and June 2023. Data was weighted to approximate a target sample of U.S. adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. The full report is available at https://www.comptia.org/content/research/job-seeker-trends.

About CompTIA

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the world’s leading information technology (IT) certification and training body. CompTIA is a mission-driven organization committed to unlocking the potential of every student, career changer or professional seeking to begin or advance in a technology career. Each year CompTIA, directly and through its global network of partners, provides millions of people with training, education and certification. To learn more visit https://www.comptia.org/