April 8, 2009 / 8:46 PM / 10 years ago

Laid-off U.S. workers finding new jobs, less pay

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Half of U.S. workers laid off in the past year who were questioned in a survey released on Wednesday reported finding new jobs, but often with less pay and in a different field.

A woman talks to recruiters at a Verizon booth during a career fair in Brooklyn, New York April 3, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The survey of 807 adults who lost full-time jobs in the past year showed that 49 percent had found new jobs but of those, 49 percent now earn less money.

The survey was conducted for CareerBuilder.com, an online jobs site. Those questioned for the survey were chosen as representative of workers in an array of industries at various job levels around the nation, CareerBuilder.com spokeswoman Jennifer Grasz said.

Of those with new jobs, 38 percent said they are now employed in a different field, the survey found. Eight percent reported finding part-time work.

One-sixth of those with new jobs said they had to relocate, one-sixth are now working more hours and one-sixth reported getting higher pay, the survey found.

“This is encouraging news for the job seekers out there,” Grasz said. “There is a popular misconception that if you lose your job today you won’t be able to find another opportunity.”

“There are companies out there hiring today,” Grasz said.

Workers aged 35 to 44 were most likely to find new jobs, while workers aged 18 to 24 were least likely, according to the survey. More men than women found new jobs.

A third of the laid-off workers said they got severance packages from their employers, and two-thirds of those said the severance lasted for two months or less. Forty-five percent of the laid-off workers said they had to tap into long-term savings.

The survey was conducted between February 20 and March 11 by Harris Interactive. Its margin of error was plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

CareerBuilder.com is owned by Gannett Co, Tribune Co, the McClatchy Co and Microsoft Corp.

Editing by Will Dunham

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