While millions of Americans are still coping with unemployment from the recession, those that are employed are expressing discontentment with their jobs.

According to a new survey published today from Jobvite, a recruiting platform, two-thirds of currently employed Americans, or roughly 77.5 million people, are either actively seeking a job or open to a new opportunity.

An additional 33 million American adults who are either unemployed or about to graduate are also looking for work for a total of 110.5 million job seekers.

For the survey, Jobvite grouped workers and potential workers into three categories:

Active Job Seekers have recently looked or are currently hunting for a new job. This includes unemployed job seekers, employed workers actively seeking new jobs, workers hired in the past 12 months (recent hunters), and pending college graduates. Active Job Seekers comprise 14% of the working population and 20% of all American adults (employed and unemployed). Based on 2010 Census Bureau data, this equals roughly 47 million Americans.

Stationary Employees are currently employed and not seeking or open to a new job. They represent 33% of the working population and 17% of the American adult population, roughly 40 million Americans.

Proactive Career Managers are currently employed and open to a new job but are not actively seeking one. This segment represents 53% of the working population and 27% of all American adults, roughly 63.5 million Americans.

The survey found that these proactive career managers are young, highly educated, ambitious, and most are positioning themselves for the next opportunity.

“A large group of job seekers believe they have a better chance to land a job if they are connected, proactive and prepared — and rightly so,” said Dan Finnigan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jobvite. “These are some of the very qualities employers look for when hiring, and social networks are emerging as the meeting ground for likeminded innovative employers and prospective employees.”

The survey also explored the most popular job search methods. Referrals remain the most common way to secure a new job. Younger professionals build their networks faster and generate more referrals online as compared to previous generations still using more traditional methods. More finds include:

– 44% of all job seekers cited referrals and/or social networks as the source of their most recent job, compared to 32% for job boards (note, respondents could select multiple options).

– 18% of respondents ages 18-24 and 19% of respondents ages 25-34 used social networks to find their current job, compared to 9% of those 35-44, 4% of those 45-54, and 1% of those 55+.

– Extrapolated to the national adult population, approximately 14.4 million American job seekers would credit online social networks for their current/most recent job.

– While Internet job boards remain a popular resource, Jobvite’s survey found one-third of respondents using them (33%) said they could not find relevant jobs there.


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