Laid off workers today are competing in one of the toughest job markets in the nation’s history and struggling with increased financial pressures.

A new CareerBuilder survey finds that, despite the hardships many of these workers are facing, they are focusing on positive aspects of being in between jobs to get them through a challenging time.

More than 1,800 laid off workers participated in the nationwide survey completed in June.

Twenty-two per cent of these workers reported that they are spending more time with family and friends as they look for new employment opportunities.

Other ways laid off workers said they are making the best of a difficult situation include:

• 15 per cent are fixing up their homes
• 14 per cent are exercising more
• 11 per cent are finally taking time to relax
• eight per cent are volunteering
• seven per cent are going back to school
• six per cent are becoming more involved in their church community
• four per cent are starting their own business
• four per cent are taking up new hobbies
• three per cent are travelling

“While finding a new job and steady paycheque is definitely top of mind, laid off workers are also concentrating on activities that will help them grow personally and professionally,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “They are reconnecting with friends and family, getting involved in the community, taking classes and exploring new career path options that may lead to a greater return in the long run.”

To make ends meet today, 23 per cent of laid off workers reported they are collecting unemployment or other financial aid while another 20 per cent are cutting back on spending outside of necessity. Other means they are using to manage budgets include:

• 16 per cent are relying on savings
• 12 per cent said their spouse or significant other is supporting the household
• six per cent sold some of their belongings
• five per cent are taking odd jobs here and there
• four per cent are living on credit
• three per cent moved back home or added a roommate

This survey was conducted online by CareerBuilder among more than 1,800 laid off workers. The survey was conducted from June 10 to June 15, 2009.

With a probability sample of 1,800, one could say with a 95 per cent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3.20 percentage points.
Metro News Services

Latest From ...