SOURCE: Lee Hecht Harrison

February 17, 2015 06:00 ET

Sharp Rise in Job Seeker Optimism

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ--(Marketwired - February 17, 2015) - At the end of 2014, 60 percent of job seekers rated their perception of the job market as "excellent" or "good," according to a recent online survey by talent mobility consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison. This is a marked increase in optimism as only 24 percent shared the same ratings a year ago.

In December 2014, LHH surveyed 633 job seekers throughout the U.S. via an online poll and asked them to rate the job market. The results are as follows:

 DecemberDecember
  2014 2013
   
Excellent20%2%
Good40%23%
Fair25%50%
Poor15%25%

Greg Simpson, Senior Vice President, Career Transition Practice Leader for LHH stated, "With nearly three millions jobs created in 2014 and unemployment at 5.7 percent, we're finally putting the Great Recession and its sluggish recovery behind us."

However, the anticipated increase in job growth and surge in optimism could trigger an influx of new job seekers who are feeling increasingly confident, creating more competition for jobs. An earlier LHH online poll found that nearly one in two (48%) employees said they're preparing for a change in jobs in 2015. Simpson states, "Current job seekers must step up their game -- getting even more strategic in job search activities."

Simpson suggests that job seekers prepare for the possibility of increased competition in the job market and improve their success by taking a proactive approach. "Develop a plan of action by identifying the types of positions you are seeking. Set benchmarks for activity, such as networking. We recommend that job seekers conduct 30 search-related conversations per week. A job search without direction is like taking a trip without GPS -- you might reach your destination eventually, but it'll take a lot longer."

About Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH)

Lee Hecht Harrison (www.lhh.com) is the global talent mobility leader. We connect people to jobs through innovative career transition services and help individuals improve performance through career and leadership development. LHH assists organizations in supporting restructuring efforts, developing leaders at all levels, engaging and retaining critical talent, and maintaining productivity through change -- helping organizations increase profitability by maximizing their return on investment in developing people, while assisting individuals to achieve their full potential.

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