Vault's Careers Blog

Career advice and job search strategies for the modern careerist

Job Seeker Sentiment Index: The Job Market is Flat

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It’s impossible not to detect the growing signs of pessimism over the state of the economy beginning to take hold in some sectors. While some commentators have been predicting a double-dip recession all along, some have only recently begun predicting disaster, after previously believing that we were on the road to recovery. Chief among this latter group, of course, is Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, whose recent New York Times column set a thoroughly depressing tone for the week. (Pun not intended.)

None of that, however, seems to have affected conditions on the ground for job seekers. The latest results from Vault’s job seeker sentiment poll show that fewer people believe the job market is getting worse than at any point since we began the poll in November 2009: just 13 percent of respondents reported a decline in the state of the market.

More worrying, perhaps, is that more respondents than ever before (38 percent) also suggested that the market is “about the same” as in previous months—suggesting that it may be leveling off. Similarly, the proportion of respondents reporting slight improvements in the state of the market declined to below 40 percent for the first time since the end of 2009.

Here are the results of the most recent poll in full:

Vault job seeker sentiment poll June 2010

And here is how the results stack up on Vault’s Job Seeker Sentiment Index:

Vault's Job Seeker Sentiment Index

As you can see, some interesting movements in sentiment—and definitely something to look for in next week’s unemployment number: will it reflect that stasis that Vault’s readers are finding out in the real world? And does it portend anything that the gap between those finding the market “about the same” or “slightly better” is closer than at any point since the significantly darker days of November?

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Written by Phil Stott

June 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

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