American Perceptions of How the Trump Presidency Will Affect the US Job Market

The Trump administration is in full swing and everyone is wondering how its policies will affect the future of the United States. For those who are currently seeking employment, the question is how will the Trump Presidency affect the US job market. Will American job seekers have a plethora of jobs to choose from, and will companies be optimistic about hiring local labor.  The latest Pew Research Center poll isn’t looking favorably on the administration. Donald Trump’s approval ratings are 10-15 points lower than President Obama’s when he exited office. Their survey found that only 33% of women and 28% of Millennials approve of the job the Trump administration has done so far. The numbers are in, but since the survey didn’t touch upon public opinion on the state of the US job market, and how Americans feel the Trump Presidency would affect it, the team at Opportunity decided to poll American job seekers to get more insights on the subject.

United States Job Market under the Trump Administration


In order to get a clearer view into how people feel about the current US job market, and the way they feel the Trump Presidency will affect the US job market; we called on the Opportunity database consisting of nearly 2,000,000 members worldwide. Then, we did a deep dive into answers from Opportunity members who are currently looking for work throughout the U.S. across multiple industries including but not limited to biotech, education, engineering, financial, healthcare and IT. We wanted to ask American job seekers how they feel the Trump Presidency will affect the US job market, and what they think the current state of the US job market is now that we are few months into the Trump Presidency.

NOTE: It is important to keep in mind that the majority of job seekers surveyed are currently employed (63%) and are looking for new opportunities mostly because they are looking for better compensation and growth opportunities, not because of outright need.

The Primary Reason for Job Search:
  • 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%

America is divided in two when it comes to the outlook of the economic future and the job market. One is highly optimistic, the other not so much. The results of our survey reflect the deep rift which is expressed in social media sites, news outlets, and independent polls. The attitudes of Republican job seekers have an overwhelmingly positive sentiment, while the opinion of the job market from the point of view of Democrats skews more pessimistic. But, it is not only partisan lines that divide the landscape. Gender also plays a significant role in predicting confidence in the job market during the new presidency. A majority of women are least likely to have confidence in job outlooks in the near future while men are overwhelmingly confident about the future of the job market. Finally, age plays a major role in how American job seekers view the future of jobs under the new president. America’s youth is significantly less optimistic than older generations.


As expected whenever there is a new administration in office, people expect change to happen. According to our survey, 82% of respondents expect changes in the overall job market. It was interesting to see that a majority of 50% feel optimistic about the job market in the near future. When asked about their particular industry and career; only 25% are of the opinion that the Trump presidency will have no change in their career over the next 4-8 years. The majority of respondents also has high hopes for the job market with 44% expecting to see a positive change, while a mere 30% is bracing for the worst.

How do you feel about the overall job market / economy in the near future?

How do you think the Trump presidency will impact your career/industry over the next 4-8 years?


As expected, it is job seekers in Red states who have the most confidence in the way the Trump Presidency will affect the U.S. job market. People in states such as Arizona, Alabama, and Florida (all states who voted for Donald Trump) are quite optimistic. In Red states, only 26% of people had an unfavorable outlook of the job market in the near future. Job seekers in Blue states are more overwhelmingly negative in their perspective, with a majority of 63% expecting an adverse impact in the state of the job market. Our survey serves to support findings from CNN’s latest poll which shows that political affiliation is the strongest determining factor on opinions about the Trump Presidency (90% of Republicans approve vs. 10% of Democrats).


When we dive deeper into the numbers, there is also a clear gender split. 43% of women surveyed expect that that the Trump Presidency will affect the U.S. job market negatively, followed by 37% who are hopeful about the changes to come from the administration and its new policies. Unemployed women have a bleaker outlook of the future of the job market with 45% expecting negative change as opposed to 37% who were optimistic. When looking at the opinion of men, the outlook of the job market is significantly more favorable. 68% of men are optimistic about the job market, while the rest are split 50/50 between feeling negatively or indifferent about their outlook on the job market. However, this outlook changes when one looks exclusively at unemployed male job seekers. In this case, 42% of respondents indicate that the job market is on a negative trajectory, and only 38% have a hopeful view of the future of jobs. This difference in opinion according to gender should come as no surprise, currently, 54% of women strongly disapprove of Trump’s performance.


The divide in opinions about the Trump Presidency is well known, but the split between America’s youth and the rest of the population is stark and will matter more and more as they continue to enter America’s workforce. The results from our survey shows that millennial voters (18-30 years old) are either pessimistic (38%) or indifferent (24%) towards the job market in the near future. When compared to all other age groups, it is clear that America’s youth has the least amount of confidence on the future of the job market under the Trump administration.

Feelings about the overall job market in the near future according to age:


January 2017 was an incredible month when it came to job growth in the U.S. with 227,000 new jobs added as reported by the Labor Department. That number surpassed the monthly average for 2016 of 187,000 and was the biggest since September 2016. It was also the 76th consecutive month that showed increases in job gains. These numbers came from the last month of the Obama presidency and the first of Donald Trump’s. Unemployment ticked up slightly from 4.7% to 4.8%, considered a normal percentage for a healthy job market by the Federal Reserve. This increase is due to the half-million Americans who began to actively search for work in January (the unemployment rate counts only the people who are searching for jobs, not people who aren't working). That means that almost half of those people who were looking were successful in their search.


Is this surge in placements a sign of how the Trump Presidency will affect the U.S. job market? Is it a sign that President Trump inherited a healthy job market and is reaping the benefits of the Obama administration? Will the January 2017 numbers continue to improve as the year goes on? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain. The US is a country divided, with political affiliation, gender, and age are key indicators of American perceptions about the job market in the Trump Era, at least for now.

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.