A List of Job Seeker Statistics and Employment Trends for 2017

Compensation, Age and Career Growth opportunities have a direct correlation to job stability among U.S. job candidates in 2017.


Forecasters predicted that this year, almost 4 million executives in the U.S. will be retiring - creating a flood of job openings for people who are looking to move into management positions. At the same time, US unemployment has dipped to 4.5 percent, which is the lowest it has been in over a decade. This is all quite positive however, last week's jobs report showed that employers significantly backed off from hiring during the month of March. The 98,000 jobs added were half of the increases seen in January and February.

What this means is that while the applicant pool has gotten smaller, the jobs being offered have become more valuable to US job seekers. Now more than ever, companies attempting to attract the best talent need to understand what motivates today's job candidates. To better understand these motivations, Opportunity surveyed a sample of our community of over 1,000,000 job seekers (U.S. only) to gain some insight. The findings shed light into why people search for new opportunities, what they are looking for when they commit to a new position, and the things that make them committed team members for longer periods of time.


The Majority of People Do not Change Jobs Often

When we asked our respondents how frequently they changed jobs, over 25% said that they changed every 5-10 years. Coupled with the people who change jobs every 10+ years and those who never change jobs, almost half of the population is happy to stay put at their current job. This is great if you have already hired and amazing team. However, if you are a company looking to recruit fresh talent, or if you are one of those companies that has a retiring work force; communicating the potential for growth and longevity could help you attract the right candidates.

This also however, depends on age. Our findings indicate that a workers age impacts how long they will remain at a job. Younger people (18-30) tend to switch jobs much faster than other age groups. Those who are a little older (31-40) are still taking risks and going for opportunities, although with less frequency than the younger generation - switch every 3-5 years. As soon as we get over the 31 year old mark, the majority of people seem to want job stability and remain in their current positions for over 10 years.

People Who Change Jobs Every 1-3 Years
  • 18-31 year olds (69%)
  • 31-40 year olds (33%)
  • 41-45 year olds (24%)
  • 50+ years old (11%)
People Who Change Jobs Every 3-5 Years
  • 18-31 year olds (10%)
  • 31-40 year olds (36%)
  • 41-45 year olds (29%)
  • 50+ years old (20%)
People Who Change Jobs Every 10+ Years
  • 18-31 year olds (4%)
  • 31-40 year olds (14%)
  • 41-45 year olds (64%)
  • 50+ years old (32%)
Reasons People Look For a New Position

Only 6% of the people we polled had either been recently fired or laid off. The majority of people we polled are employed, yet seeking better compensation or growth opportunities within their industry followed by an improvement in their work/life balance. 

Main Reasons People Look for New Opportunities:
  • Better Compensation 26%
  • Career Growth Opportunities 24%
  • Work Life Balance 14%
  • Other 9%
  • Flexibility 6%
  • Location 6%
  • Company Culture 5%
  • Company Leadership 5%
  • Health Benefits 5%
The Type of Position Currently Held Affects Job Movement

If you are looking to attract fresh talent, you're in luck. Those people who are currently in entry level jobs are much more likely to switch jobs between 1-3 years (52%). This percentage drops significantly for those who have already landed a mid-level position and drop considerably more (38%) for senior level positions.

Entry Level
  • Every 1-3 Years 52%
  • Every 3-5 Years 13%
  • Every 5-10 Years 19%
  • 10+ Years 16%
Stepping Stone
  • Every 1-3 Years 27%
  • Every 3-5 Years 27%
  • Every 5-10 Years 27%
  • 10+ Years 19%
Highest Level
  • Every 1-3 Years 12%
  • Every 3-5 Years 23%
  • Every 5-10 Years 27%
  • 10+ Years 38%
Salary is a big consideration

It came as no surprise that 64% of overall job seekers in the U.S. feel underpaid.  Similarly, 67% of U.S. job seekers felt underappreciated at their current positions - proving a correlation between what someone is paid vs. how valuable they are made to feel.


In 2017, finding talent can be an expensive and time consuming task.  Many companies will find it much easier to attract younger candidates at entry level positions as long as the pay is respectable and provides the candidate with a balanced quality of life.

Datasource: Opportunity

Opportunity shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described or information contained on these pages. The data, information and related graphics are not legal documents and are not intended to be used as such. Opportunity gives no warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, utility or completeness of this information.