New Aerotek Survey Reveals Heightened Focus on Job Security and Employee Engagement Among Job Seekers

Pay remains priority as the prolonged period of economic uncertainty continues

Aerotek, a leading workplace solutions provider in manufacturing, logistics, construction, aviation, facilities and maintenance, announced today its latest survey of job seekers shows Americans are prioritizing pay, job security and engagement as they endure longer job hunts in an uncertain economy.

The survey collected feedback from 1,433 job seekers representing various industries, shedding light on their evolving priorities and workforce challenges.

Job Seekers Are Becoming More Motivated by Job Security as the Prolonged Period of Economic Uncertainty Continues
While workers continue to prioritize pay in their job search, job security is on their minds as well. When asked to choose from a list of eight motivators, the number of workers reporting job security as the most important increased by 5% compared to spring 2023, and the number of workers reporting pay as most important increased by 4%.

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Most Important Motivator When Deciding to Accept a New Job

Spring 2023

Spring 2024


36.5 %

40.6 %

Job Security

14.3 %

19.7 %

Opportunities to Learn
New Skills

13.9 %

11.5 %

Potential for Career

14.9 %

10.9 %

A positive or supportive
company culture

10.8 %

7.9 %

The work is interesting
or challenging

4.8 %

5.6 %

Starting date

4.0 %

3.1 %

The job is helpful to

0.9 %

0.8 %

Despite rising wages, workers have a mostly negative feeling about their financial situation. That includes workers who responded to Aerotek’s survey saying they received a raise in the past year — a sign that inflation and economic uncertainty may be negating wage gains.

A staggering 81.2% of respondents feel the same or worse about their financial situation compared to this time in 2023. Of 486 respondents who received a raise in the last year, 71% still feel the same or worse about their financial situation.

How would you describe your financial
situation compared to this time in 2023?

All respondents

Those who received a raise

Better than 2023

18.8 %

29 %

Same as 2023

33.6 %

36 %

Worse than 2023

47.6 %

35 %

Workers Are More Likely to Stay If They Can Create Social Connections in the Workplace 
According to a recent Gallup survey, employee engagement in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade.

Aerotek’s survey findings reflect that engagement is a priority for job seekers, as 73.2% report that engaging with coworkers improves their feelings about a job, and 69.2% said they are more likely to stay at a job that promotes social connections.

Based on these insights, fostering a supportive and collaborative work environment can help managers boost employee retention and increase overall job satisfaction.

Despite Job Search Challenges, Workers Maintain Optimism in Finding Quality Employment Amid Economic Concerns
While the number of available jobs remains relatively high, workers looking for new opportunities are filling out more applications and waiting longer to hear back from employers:

Fall 2023

Spring 2024

Job Seekers Who Completed 100+ Job Applications

10 %

13.8 %

Respondents Who Feel Their Job Search Experience Has
Slowed Down

53.6 %

59.0 %

*Compared to results from Aerotek’s previous Job Seeker Survey

Employers may be adopting a more cautious approach, waiting longer to find the right hire. Unsurprisingly, 56% of job seekers identify the economy as their primary challenge in the job search. Despite this economic apprehension, 58% of respondents remain optimistic about securing quality employment.

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