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Aerotek Fall 2023 Job Seeker Survey: Job Seekers Say Job Hunt More Difficult Than Expected

Workers report feeling challenged by the economy in Aerotek's latest job seeker survey

A man in a yellow vest and protective glasses works on an assembly line, and text reads "Job Seeker Survey: Fall 2023"

Hanover, Md. (December 13, 2023) Aerotek, a leading talent solutions provider specializing in placing light industrial and skilled trades talent in the manufacturing, logistics, construction, aviation and facility management industries, has released its Fall 2023 Job Seeker Survey, which provides key insights from job seekers about current issues impacting the workforce. Job seekers reported a difficult climate for finding work as they dealt with worsening financial situations heading into the new year.

The survey garnered responses from over 1,500 job seekers across a diverse array of industries, providing insights into the circumstances and challenges job seekers are facing.

Job Seekers Are Working Harder, Spending More Time Finding Jobs

A majority of job seekers polled indicated their job hunts were shaping up to be harder than they expected.

Over 70% of job seekers said they felt they needed to exert more than an average amount of effort to find a job in this economy, and 67.7% felt their current job search was more difficult than their last one.

Q: How much effort do you feel you need to exert to find a job in this economy?

More Than Average




Less Than Average


Based on their experience over the last three months, a majority of job seekers 53.6% said they thought employers have slowed down the hiring process. Just 13.5% thought the hiring process was faster, while 32.9% thought it was what they expected.

When asked to pick just one motivator as most important, pay still reigned for job seekers answering Aerotek’s survey. But since Aerotek’s Summer 2023 Job Seeker Survey, those answering that the most important motivator for them was pay (30%) declined by 6.9% while those answering job security (18%) increased 0.8%.

Job Seekers Indicate Financial Struggles, Point to Economy/Job Market as Most Significant Challenge

More than 74% of job seekers reported their financial situation was the same or worse compared to this time in 2022. That number was down slightly from Aerotek’s Summer Job-Seeker Survey, when 77.3% of job seekers reported the same or worse financial situation.

Q: How would you describe your financial situation compared to this time in 2022?


Summer 2023

Fall 2023

Better Than 2022



Same as 2022



Worse Than 2022



Over 55% of respondents said the economy/job market was the most significant barrier or challenge they were facing in their job search.

Performance Feedback Leads to Higher Job Satisfaction

Job seekers who reported that they received performance feedback in their most recent job were more likely to indicate that they enjoyed the work and their employer at the time, and that they had a more positive view on work in general.


DID NOT Receive Performance Feedback at Most Recent Employer

DID Receive Performance Feedback at Most Recent Employer

Enjoyed the Work and Employer



Have a More Positive View of Work Compared to a Year Ago



As managers begin to hold annual reviews, the data shows employees appreciate receiving feedback about their performance.

For more detailed insights and analysis, please refer to the complete survey report, available here. To learn more about Aerotek, please visit Aerotek.com

About the Research

Aerotek’s Fall Job Seeker Survey was conducted as an independent online survey. 1,514 job seekers were asked about their career ambitions and employer preferences. Respondents were located in the U.S. and completed the survey between November 14 and November 26, 2023. The survey targeted job seekers who have applied for work since October 1 and were seeking jobs in the sectors Aerotek serves, including manufacturing, robotics and automation, facilities and maintenance, distribution and logistics, construction and other industries.

About Aerotek

Our People Are Everything™. For more than 40 years, Aerotek® Inc. has built a reputation for providing the highest-quality staffing and workforce management solutions. With deep expertise in the manufacturing, logistics, construction, aviation and facility management industries, we partner with more than 13,000 clients and 200,000 light industrial and skilled trades contract employees every year. Our people-focused approach connects quality talent with meaningful work and continuous opportunities. Headquartered in Hanover, Md., Aerotek operates a unified network of over 250 offices across North America. Aerotek is an operating company within Allegis Group, a global leader in talent solutions. To learn more, visit: Aerotek.com | 1-888-AEROTEK.