Although many unemployed workers are eager to start earning a paycheck, some are holding out for better offers. A new survey from Personified, CareerBuilder’s talent consulting arm, shows that 17 percent of unemployed workers have received at least one job offer since they have become unemployed. Of these workers, 92 percent rejected the offer. Fifty-four percent reported the pay was more than 25 percent below the salary they earned in their most recent position. The survey, which was conducted from August 4 to August 27, 2010, included 925 unemployed workers nationwide.

Comparing genders, the survey showed that unemployed women were less likely to receive a job offer. Fourteen percent of unemployed women stated they had been offered at least one position during their unemployment compared to 20 percent of unemployed men.

Unemployed men reported a higher incidence of offers falling short of salary expectations. Fifty-six percent of men stated the pay offered was more than 25 percent below their previous salary compared to 49 percent of women.

Job Offers Not Paying Off
Insufficient pay was the No. 1 reason unemployed workers turned down a job opportunity. Other factors cited include a long commute, a lower title, the position being outside of their field, little room for career advancement and a poor hiring process.

"Employers are adding jobs at a gradual, but steady pace and workers are feeling a greater sense of optimism in their job prospects," said Mary Delaney, president of Personified. "Rather than jumping on the first job offer that comes their way, workers are assessing which opportunities really make the most sense for them in terms of compensation and long-term potential."

Frequency of Job Search
While finding a job is a full-time job in itself, nearly one-in-five unemployed workers (18 percent) reported they spend five hours or less, on average, searching for a job each week. Thirty percent allocate over 20 hours. In terms of job applications, nearly two-thirds of unemployed workers (62 percent) apply to more than ten jobs per week on average.

Comparing educational levels, workers with no college degree look more frequently and apply more often to jobs than those with a college diploma. Those with a post-graduate degree are the most aggressive in their job search activity, reporting a higher frequency of looking for jobs and applying to a greater number of jobs than other groups.

Earning level also influenced frequency of job search. Workers who previously earned $100,000 or more reported allocating more time to job search than those in other earning brackets.

Expired Health Insurance
One of the biggest concerns unemployed workers face is the termination of health benefits. Forty-nine percent of all unemployed workers reported that they do not have health insurance. Among workers who have been unemployed for more than a year, the number is 55 percent.

Impact of Extension of Unemployment Benefits
The majority of unemployed workers reported that their job search activity has stayed the same throughout their unemployment. Half (52 percent) do not anticipate that an extension of unemployment benefits will change their job search strategy. Three-in-ten (31 percent) said it would give them more time to find a job that was a better fit for their career goals while 15 percent stated an extension would actually create a greater sense of urgency for them to find a new position.