05/14/2013 04:38 pm ET Updated Jul 12, 2013

Gen X and Men Need Jobs

A job survey released on May 13, 2013 indicates that Generation X and men are still looking for jobs.

The Pulse Survey, distributed nationally on March 23, 2013 to 225 job seekers, netted 178 responses in a 45 day period. The Pulse Survey was sponsored by Just Staff, Inc., a national staffing firm.

62.15% of the respondents were men followed by 62.29% of Generation X. The findings indicated that job seekers are primarily looking for jobs because they out of work (51.59%). This finding was followed by those looking for salary improvement (17.98%) and others a desire to find something new (12.92%). Job security (33.33%) ranked as the top desire of job seekers, followed by securing experience, and skill development (28.81%) and then salary (16.95%).

Is the trend shifting?

This research is important because it shows what trends might be emerging. For example experience and skill development ranked higher than a salary increase on what job seekers were seeking from a new job. Job security is now viewed as a top criteria possibly indicating that people are looking for stability and the ability to develop their qualifications to ensure long term employability. This is a direct shift from the boom years where there were more job changes focused on salary opportunities and less interest in job security. Job seekers may be realizing that skill development and experience are important to continue lifelong employment and they are more willing today to invest in these attributes and stay at a firm for a long period of time.

Generation X (born between 1961 to 1981)

The findings could be a concern for Generation X. This generation should be in their prime working years. We often hear about how Generation Y and the boomers are feeling the impact of unemployment more than Generation X. This study suggests that this may not be the case and that the trend is shifting. It could also mean that the younger generation are bringing in new skills at a lower cost and replacing more seasoned talent. Other trends could indicate that Generation Xers who have in the past followed Baby Boomer employment best practices, are staying too long at firms and are now being weeded out in large scale layoffs.

What about men?

The findings could be a concern for men. According to my book Women Lead, women are half the work force and are more likely than men to pursue education and advanced degrees thus preparing them for more job and career options and choices. Women are pursuing self-employment, entrepreneurships and business ownership. Women are also more adaptable with managing labyrinth career paths and as a result can be more flexible with economic shifts. Women are more inclined to plan for the long term to ensure continuous employment.

Just Staff, Inc. Sr. Manager Anne Angelopoulos notes, "In the staffing business it is important that we know what the current trends are so that we can keep employers and our clients informed on what is top of mind for job seekers. These trends shift as the economy shifts."

The survey and findings are posted at The final study and report will be posted at

Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti is a leading thought leader on careers. She is the author of ten books, a regular media contributor, and global speaker. She is a key adviser for recruiting and outplacement firms. Her most recent book is Women Lead: Career perspectives from workplace leaders. Tracey is a visiting scholar at Stanford University Media X program researching the impact of technology on future careers.