Job Statistics That’ll Scare the Crap Out of You

If given the choice between beginning a job search and enduring a transatlantic flight in the middle seat between two screaming toddlers, most would choose the latter. There’s no way to glorify the pain that online applications, resume revisions, and appropriate interview small talk can inflict on a person.

We won’t try to put lipstick on a pig. In fact, these jobs statistics will most definitely cause a bit of discomfort. Companies mislead applicants, employees are unhappy at work, and wage growth is basically stagnant. But by knowing what to expect in your next career endeavor, you’ll actually be ahead of the game should you face workplace challenges down the road.

Or maybe you need a little kick in the pants to regain that competitive motivation that got you to where you are in your career today. Let’s take a look at some of the most concerning job statistics that’ll hopefully help get you back into the game.

1. Age bias is real

old man and woman

Older workers face more age discrimination in the workforce. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Job discrimination for older workers is making it tough to find and keep a steady job. A AARP survey notes 48% of people age 50 and over have either witnessed or experienced age discrimination in the workplace.

Now more than ever, employees are forced to find other ways to stay relevant in their positions. Companies fear older employees simply aren’t worth the investment. And workers have reported being laid off, fired, not hired for a job, or passed up for a promotion due to age.

Next: Mislead about a job? You’re not alone.

2. Many report being misled in a job interview

confused man

A shocking number of people report feeling misled about a job. | Universal Studios

As if just searching for a job isn’t disheartening enough, now we’ve got to worry about whether the wool’s been pulled over our eyes about what’s expected of us come training day.

A survey found 23% of participants reported feeling misled during a job interview. Even more, 3 out of 10 job seekers felt it was often difficult to receive accurate information about the day-to-day details of a job during the interview process. Overly eager employees fail to ask the appropriate questions to ensure the job is not only a means to an end, but a match for their personal needs.

Next: Misery is pain.

3. More people are utterly miserable at their job

Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson on NBC's This is Us

Happiness at work is vastly underrated. | NBC

About 52% of full-time employees in America feel more stressed today at work than they did one year ago, according to a workplace study done by Udemy. Workplace stress and happiness leads to certain health dangers. And unfortunately, many stress factors are beyond our control. Sixty percent of U.S. workers are stressed all or most of the time at work because of outside triggers, such as the political climate (50%), or inside triggers, such as a fear of losing their job (43%) or changing job responsibilities (52%).

And being unhappy at work can cost you more than just a salary. There’s a strong correlation between workplace stress and serious illness, such as heart disease and anxiety. A newer study also linked job hatred to a shorter lifespan, so choose your career wisely. One could say your choice is a matter of life and death.

Next: You’ll probably work past age 65.

4. People are staying in the workforce longer

businessman texting in his office

Retirement at 65 is not guaranteed. |

Baby boomers are moving past retirement age and remaining in the workforce longer than prior generations did. The percentage of workers ages 65 and older in full-time jobs more than doubled from 4% in 2002 to 9% in 2016.  Whether it’s due to a lack of adequate savings or an inherent desire to keep working longer, retirement seems to be getting further and further away for some. Either way, retiring at 65 is no longer guaranteed.

Next: Don’t expect to hear back from an application.

5. Professional ghosting is becoming more common

young student sitting at desk and doing her homework

Professional ghosting is a thing. |

Unfortunately, the dating and professional worlds are colliding — and not in a fun way. Ghosting, a term typically used to describe a point in which all communication between you and another person ceases in the dating world, is now being applied to the job search. Just because you’ve had a great interview with a company doesn’t mean you’ll get any type of response or feedback from the team. CareerBuilder says 75% of workers who applied to jobs in the past year never heard back from the employer, regardless of the decision to move forward.

Many hiring personnel are choosing a vow of silence to avoid becoming the bad guy. And though unprofessional, they feel they need to dodge confrontation when announcing a job is no longer available.

Next: You’ll work way more than 40 hours a week.

6. There’s pressure to work well beyond traditional work hours

man sleeping on office desk

The most competitive employees work well over 40 hours a week. |

Over 85% of U.S men and 66% of women work more than 40 hours per week. And they work over 258 hours more per year than Europeans, equating to about an hour more time spent at the office each day. Now more than ever, workers forgo vacation to appear more dedicated to their work and avoid missing out on a raise. Employers can never actually say that they expect workers to go beyond the traditional 9-to-5 effort, but we all know the promotion usually goes to the one putting in the most hours.

Sure, you can skate by doing the bare minimum — or shall we say the norm — but only if you’re comfortable staying put on your career ladder rung. And as living expenses continue to multiply and expand each year, you’ll come to regret that decision quickly.

Next: What yearly pay raise?

7. Say goodbye to yearly pay raises

Employees meeting new boss

Don’t expect to get a raise every year. | 20th Century Fox

Maybe working such long hours would be worth it if the money was good, right? Unfortunately, Roy Bahat tells MarketWatch future employees should say goodbye to the old expectation of earning more money each year. “The idea that we have a steadily advancing pay scale will be questioned. People will be paid based on what they can do.”

More and more companies are abandoning the annual pay raise because it does little to keep an employee at a job if they’re already unhappy in their situation. While some companies, such as GE, are placing heightened importance on variable pay methods, including bonuses for good performance, other unrecognized employees might be forced to seek employment elsewhere if they want more money.

Next: It’s not looking good for young people.

8. Millennials earn less

Students Training To Work In Catering Industry

Millennials are highly educated and underpaid. |

Young people are flooding the job market with a whole new set of skills unseen by baby boomers and Gen Xers. Millennials are on track to become our most educated generation to date.

But the percentage of young adults working in low-wage industries with a bachelor’s degree rose to 33% between 2000 and 2014, according to a report from the New York City comptroller’s office. And today’s millennials in New York City earn 20% less than the previous generation did at the same point.

Next: What job loss will do to your retirement

9. An expected job loss will cost thousands in retirement setbacks

headache during work at the office

Losing a job will have a lasting effect on retirement. |

Money magazine reports 61% of people have lost a job for longer than a year by the time they reach age 70. Losing a job is more common than you might think in an unstable economy as nearly a quarter of people have experienced four or more of these shocks in a lifetime. These types of financial setbacks often cause people to dip into retirement accounts and ruin their chances at a secure nest egg.

And unfortunately, 32% of early withdrawals are by workers in low-income housing, according to Money. In these cases, research from the National Endowment for Financial Education predicts retirement savings would be reduced by an average $6,218 per episode — or nearly $25,000 after four years sans income. These types of unavoidable disruptions combined with a lack of financial discipline is a recipe for a career and retirement disaster.

Next: Older means wiser, but that’s not a good thing.

10. Older employees are at a greater risk of job loss

older man talking to younger man

Older means wiser, but it doesn’t mean job security. |

Companies are more likely to get rid of older, more expensive employees for newer, cheaper workers. Knowledge and expertise aside, your seemingly steady job might not be as safe as you think. Age discrimination in the workplace is common, and many fear the influx of younger, more technologically savvy workers will force older employees back into the job market — a scary statistic for those who are nearing retirement age and counting on their employer contributions to help fund such a lifestyle.

Next: A stagnant wage growth

11. Wage growth is basically stagnant

Businessman stressed and angry in office

Wage growth is basically stagnant. Rage on. |

If we want to see just how slow our economy is recovering, we should look no further than the U.S. wage growth. It rests at 2.5% as of June 2017, which is low compared to the target of 3.5% to 4%. Regardless of the upticks and downticks of both unemployment and monthly job growth, the fact remains that employers aren’t offering competitive wages to those who are looking for work.

Job growth is slowing down. This could mean not as many people are looking for jobs. After all, unemployment is resting at the lowest rate in 14 years. Or it could mean people just stopped looking for one overall. With the advertised “skills gap” becoming a major issue for middle class Americans, it’s still hard for people to find work among all available openings.

Next: How job-hopping will affect your career

12. Job hopping is the new norm

Young businessman with a briefcase and glasses running

Millennials are setting a job-hopping trend. |

One should never feel too secure in their professional life. Millennials are causing a workforce disruption, making job-hopping a new normal. It’s getting harder to tie down a millennial on an endless search for workplace engagement. Gallup suggests only 29% of young people feel engaged at work, causing them to look elsewhere for opportunities that better promote accountability and support.

As vacancies come and go, so will your job security. You could be back on the job market sooner than you think. While employers try to refill positions and cater to this large generation of new workers, others will merely be along for a bumpy ride of costly reorganizations, job title changes, and priority shifts.

Next: The price of job hopping is steep.

13. And changing jobs is expensive

Money, Hiding money, theft, steal

Job-hopping is expensive. | Paramount Pictures

Not only does job-hopping bring increased uncertainty for employed workers, it’s also costly for companies to endure such turmoil. Gallup estimates that millennial turnover due to lack of engagement costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion each year.

How long will it take companies to realize the importance of learning and development programs to better engage employees? Who knows the real answer, but hopefully it’s before they’re forced to slim down on traditional company perks to make up the difference.

Next: That dang Facebook profile

14. Your social presence can cost you a job in more ways than one

Woman looking on social media applications on a brand new black Apple iPhone 5S

If you’re not on social media, you could lose a job. And if you are on social media, you could lose a job. | Babii

Social recruiting is an actual step in the hiring process now. Three in 10 employers have someone whose sole responsibility is to get the scoop on your online persona. That’s alarming when considering more than half of employers have passed on hiring a candidate based on inappropriate social content they’ve uncovered during their investigations.

On the other hand, there’s evidence to support that employers will not call you if you’re considered an online ghost — meaning you have no social presence at all. Therefore, job hopefuls must tread carefully online or risk losing out entirely.

Next: The robot apocalypse

15. 1 in 4 workers worry technology will eliminate their job


The robot apocalypse is coming for your job. | Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

We’ve all been warned about the robot apocalypse, but no one seems to know when or where it’ll strike. Many Americans are worried about its effect on their job and the additional challenge it poses for job security.

Gallup reports 26% of people say their job will be eliminated due to technology within 20 years, while 13% say their job is in danger within the next five. This fear has moved beyond just speculative thought, as there are certain jobs predicted to be affected the most by new technology, automation, robots, or artificial intelligence. Regardless of its untimely arrival, it’s yet another wrench we must address in an already uncertain economic future.

Follow Lauren on Twitter @la_hamer.

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