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A new study takes a deep dive into how the pandemic has affected Americans and disparities based on age, race, income-level, and gender. Research findings indicate that younger Americans are disproportionately affected by employment changes during the pandemic.

The survey highlights key information on unemployment as well as data from workers about the current job market.

  • More than half of workers age 18-34 experienced a change in employment status due to layoffs, furloughs, reduced hours, or resignation.
  • Nearly 32 percent of Americans age 18-34 are actively seeking new employment, and almost all are looking for jobs outside of their current or previous industry.
  • Twelve percent of Americans under 34 years old are laid off, compared to 7.6 percent of workers age 35-54, and 4.3 percent of workers 55 and older.
  • Comparatively, only 24.8 percent of workers age 35-54 and 19 percent of those aged 55 and older are seeking employment in a new career field.

According to the survey, 15.6% of respondents had their hours reduced in the wake of the pandemic, 7.6% were laid off, 7.2% were furloughed, and 2.3% quit their jobs.

Nearly one-fourth (23.3%) of 18-34 year-olds had their hours reduced, compared to 18.7% of 35-54 year-olds, and 7.6% of individuals 55 and older. Twelve percent of 18-34 year-olds were laid off, compared to 7.6% of 35-54 year-olds, and 4.3% of individuals 55 and older.

When sorted by income level, middle-class workers were the most affected; 19.3% of workers who make $40,000-$80,000 annually had their hours reduced, compared to 13.7% of employees who make less than $40,000, and 17% of employees who make more than $80,000.

Almost 27% of American workers are looking for employment outside of their current industry.

“With the unemployment rate going from 3.5 percent to over 13 percent, American workers are forced to pivot in this unstable job market,” says ResumeBuilder’s director of marketing Donnie Dinh.

“Whether you’re entering a new industry or just looking for work in your field, it’s crucial to have a polished resume that addresses any COVID-19 related-employment gaps and includes a branding statement to explain the unique value that you will bring to a company.”

Among those who strongly agree that they have the necessary skill set to be competitive in the current job market, 44.7% have a postgraduate degree; 37.5% have a 4-year degree; 31.6% have a 2-year degree or some college education, and 27.2% have a high school education.

5 Ways to Update Your Resume

1. Ask a friend or colleague to review and proofread your resume
2. Redesign your resume to optimize it for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) software
3. Swap out your career summary for a branding statement
4. Streamline your work history timeline
5. Address COVID-19-related employment gaps

6 Tips for Revising Your Resume for a Career Change

1. Review industries that are hiring
2. Rewrite your branding statement
3. Emphasize skills over experience
4. Highlight transferable skills and quantifiable achievements
5. Revise education section
6. Review resume for industry-specific jargon

The recent survey was developed in partnership with YouGov, a recognized authority on public opinion data. Experts collected data from 3,786 Americans aged 18-55+ and analyzed responses based on age, income level, race, and gender.

Source: Only 1 in 4 American workers impacted by COVID-19 are updating their resume

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