Job Hunters Remain Uncertain but Optimistic

NEW YORK (MainStreet) –  It’s a new year, but Americans are slightly less doubtful about the job market, according to the jobs counseling firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Results from an annual survey found a general uncertainty among unemployed people about finding a job this year. Nearly half (48%) did not know how much longer the job search would take, the same percentage as in last year’s survey.

For those who have been out of work for more than a year, the uncertainty was even more prevalent, with nearly 60% saying they were not sure how long it would take to find employment.

The survey polled 400 of the 1,500 callers who took part in the counseling firm’s Job Seeker Call-in Advice session held December 27 and 28, 80% of whom were unemployed. This was about the same level as a year ago, when in 2008’s session 76% of callers were unemployed.

In contrast, during the pre-recession 2007 calendar year, only 55% of callers seeking advice were out of work.

“Obviously, there was a lot of frustration in callers’ voices this year,” John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a press release. “Under the frustration, there was sense of optimism, with many feeling that 2011 would be a stronger year for the job market. And that indeed should prove to be the case.”

Nearly one in five callers (18.4%) believed they would find a job in the next one to three months, an increase from the 12% who felt the same way last year. Additionally, only 4% of callers thought it would take another year or longer to find employment, down from nearly 16% of last year’s callers.

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