October 31, 2000
During the recent period of falling unemployment, the share of employed wage and salary workers who actively looked for a new job also fell.
In February 1995, the job-search rate was 5.6 percent. By February 1997, it had fallen to 5.0 percent, and by February 1999 to 4.5 percent.
Although the coincident declines in the unemployment and job-search rates are interesting, there are only three comparable data points available and all have been in the same economic expansion. Thus, there are insufficient data to determine any cyclical pattern the job search rate might exhibit.
The data on active job search by employed wage and salary workers are from supplements to the Current Population Survey. Active job-search methods include, among others, contacting an employer directly, registering at a public or private employment agency, sending out resumes, filling out applications, and placing or answering ads. Learn more about job hunting by employed workers in "Looking for a better’ job: job-search activity of the employed," by Joseph R. Meisenheimer II and Randy E. Ilg, Monthly Labor Review, September 2000.