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New Survey of Unemployed Canadians Shows 39% Have "Completely Given Up" Looking for a Job

36% Unemployed Say They Have Not Gone on a Job Interview in the Past Month

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/23/14 -- Editors Note: There are three photos associated with this press release.

Express Employment Professionals, the largest franchised staffing company in North America, with 36 locations in Canada, released today results of a major, in-depth poll, "The State of the Unemployed in Canada." The poll reveals that 39 per cent of unemployed Canadians say they have completely given up looking for work. A companion survey in the United States released earlier in the week showed that 47 per cent of Americans have completely given up looking for work.

The comprehensive survey was conducted online by Harris Poll for Express Employment Professionals from April 9 through April 21, 2014, and polled 1,502 unemployed Canadians age 18 and older who are capable of working, whether they receive employment insurance or not.

"The results of this survey should serve as a wakeup call to policymakers that some unemployed Canadians are falling behind," said Bob Funk, CEO and chairman of the board for Express Employment Professionals and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "If left unchecked, they could fall into a trap of prolonged unemployment and risk being left out of the workforce entirely."

The research report presented today at the Economic Club of Canada shows:

Though the economy is giving the unemployed reasons to quit looking for work, they do remain hopeful.

--  39 per cent of respondents say they agree with the statement, "I've
    completely given up on looking for a job." (5 per cent said they "agree
    completely," 5 per cent "agree a lot," 11 per cent "agree somewhat," and
    17 per cent "agree a little.")

--  86 per cent express agreement with the statement, "I'm becoming more
    discouraged the longer I am unemployed."

--  Nevertheless, 93 per cent agree with the statement, "I'm hopeful that I
    will find a job I really want in the next six months."

People Say There Are No Jobs: People want to find work, but increasingly many people say there is little they can do to find it. When asked what is holding them back from finding a job, 44 per cent say there are no available jobs.

--  Two-thirds report two or fewer interviews in the prior month with 36 per
    cent reporting not having any job interviews in the last month. Among
    those unemployed for more than two years, 61 per cent report no
    interviews in the prior month.

--  13 per cent say their last interview was in 2012 or before.

--  94 per cent agree that they are "working hard to find a job." But 32 per
    cent say they spent five or fewer hours looking for work in the last
    week. 8 per cent spent more than 31 hours looking.

For Many, Moving to Another Province or Getting More Education Are Not The Answers:

--  37 per cent are "not at all willing" to relocate to a new city or town
    for a job. 62 per cent are not at all willing to move to another
    province to find work.

--  51 per cent have no plans to go back to school to make them more
    marketable. 13 per cent are currently enrolled in classes and 10 per
    cent have already attended classes or earned a new degree.

Employment Insurance Remains Popular: The survey shows most of the unemployed not receiving employment insurance is due to the individuals not being eligible (34 per cent) or were denied (6 per cent), never applied (35 per cent) or their benefits already ran out (25 per cent). Only 29 per cent of survey respondents say they currently receive unemployment insurance. Among those receiving employment insurance:

--  96 per cent say it helps them to pay at least some of their bills. 86
    per cent agree with the statement that employment insurance "is giving
    me time to find the right position."

--  87 per cent said if their employment insurance were to run out prior to
    their finding a job, they would "search harder and wider for a job."
    Only 13 per cent say they would "be in such despair that they will give
    up looking for work altogether."

--  56 per cent say they "haven't had to look for work as hard" thanks to
    unemployment insurance.

--  77 per cent say insurance has been a "cushion," and 74 per cent agree
    with the statement, "It has allowed me to take time for myself."

--  18 per cent say they receive income from various odd jobs for cash.

America's unemployed vs. Canada's unemployed:

The recent companion poll in the United States shows that Americans are more inclined to give up on looking for a job than Canadians and have had fewer interviews. In the U.S., 47 per cent of unemployed have completely given up looking for work versus 39 per cent in Canada. In the U.S., 46 per cent report not having gone on any job interviews in the previous month versus 36 per cent in Canada.

"This survey should give policymakers and Canadian leaders a greater sense of urgency to focus on the singular goal of creating jobs," Funk said. "The unemployed remain hopeful, but the longer they stay unemployed the harder it is. I encourage those looking for work to stay committed and to use all available resources available to them.

"There are also valuable lessons from the companion American survey. The U.S. numbers paint a grimmer picture, with greater numbers giving up looking for work, and not having interviewed in the last month."

The State of the Unemployed in Canada is the first in a series of news releases and research projects by Express called Canada Employed that explore different aspects of who gets hired and why. The series will provide valuable news and information from the ground level about employment and unemployment throughout the country.

Survey Methodology

This study was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals and included 1,502 Canadian adults aged 18 or older who are unemployed but capable of working (whether or not they receive employment insurance benefits) who participated in an online survey between April 9 and April 21, 2014. Results were weighted as needed for age by gender, education, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. Totals may not equal the sum of their individual components due to rounding. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

Read the full "State of the Unemployed" results here.

About Robert A. "Bob" Funk

Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has nearly 700 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals and Express in Canada

Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.5 billion in sales and employed nearly 400,000 people in 2013. Express ranks as the largest franchised staffing company and the second largest privately held staffing company in North America. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.

Express launched in Canada in July, 1996, with a franchise in London, Ontario, and since then, has expanded and grown in Canada significantly. There are currently 36 Express franchises in Canada - seven in British Columbia, six in Alberta, and 23 Ontario.

To view the photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:




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