'Dream Job' Is In Sight

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Job seekers are optimistic that the perfect job is out there waiting to be found, and at last they may have some hard facts to bear them out.

A new survey of more than 600 job seekers by Simply Hired, a technology company that operates job search engines, indicates that three out of four Americans believe that the right job for them is out there.

Most don't think they've found it yet. About 65 percent say that the jobs they currently hold aren't even in the profession that they prefer.

Money is not the top priority for most. The overwhelming majority, 88 percent, believe that finding a fulfilling career is more important than salary or prestige as a priority for choosing a job. And, 86% believe that making the right match is more important than finding a job quickly.Perhaps the most interesting revelation in the new survey is the simple fact of high expectations. And the optimism is not without reason.

In a pre-Labor Day tour that included a stop in Cleveland, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez offered some compelling statistics:
  • There are now two applicants for every open position in the U.S., down from 7.5 in 2010.
  • More than 200,000 new jobs were created monthly in July.
  • It was the sixth consecutive month of new job creation at that pace, the highest recorded since 1997.
For now, American workers are among the world's luckiest. The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 6.2 percent, having peaked at a high of 10 percent in late 2009.

The picture is not all rosy. Behind the numbers are many who want a full-time job are still stuck in part-time employment, presumably while their employers hesitate over committing to higher costs. And the average time for an unemployed person to find a new job remains a shockingly long 32 weeks.

However, workers in much of the rest of the developed world have it worse. Overall unemployment in Europe is still 11.5 percent, only a small decline from its peak of 12 percent earlier in the year. Within the euro zone, there are grim figures for some nations, such as Spain's 24.5 percent unemployment rate, and Greece's 27.2 percent.

In economics, good news tends to breed more good news. The improving jobs picture is seen as a factor in an upbeat report for August for one economic indicator, home-builder optimism. The report from the National Association of Home Builders for this month indicates that builder confidence in the market for single-family homes rose two points to 55 in August. It was the measure's second consecutive monthly number above 50, meaning more builders see conditions as good than bad. Sales of existing homes have been trending steadily higher since April.

All of the above numbers may be contributing to the return of expectations that a good job is about a fulfilling career as much as it is about paying the bills.

The new survey by Simply Hired also found that an overwhelming majority of 88 percent of Americans believe that is most important to find a job that matches their personalities and strengths. A comparable majority of respondents, 86 percent, say that finding the right job is more important than finding a job in less time.
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