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Press Release

Cleveland Fed researchers say time spent by the unemployed searching for a job varies by age, gender, education

The amount of time the unemployed spend searching for jobs varies based on age, gender, and educational attainment, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, who also note that job search patterns have changed in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Looking at data from the American Time Use Survey, the researchers found, for example, that those with higher levels of educational attainment spent more time searching for a job, on average, than those with less education. For example, in the post-recession period, while 17 percent of unemployed high school dropouts spent time searching for a job, the figure was 35 percent for those holding at least a bachelor’s degree.

Job search time also varied by gender and age. Unemployed males between 20 and 50 with at least a bachelor’s degree spent much more time, on average, searching for a job after the recession than they had before it, while the average job search time decreased for comparable females. But for those over 50, the pattern was reversed; after the recession, the average job search time decreased slightly for males, but increased dramatically for females.

Read: Job Search Before and After the Great Recession

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.455.4479