How Job-Hunting While Employed Changes the Score

If you've ever stayed at a bad job for the security, your unhappiness may have paid off. New figures show just how hard it is for unemployed Americans to find worthwhile work — a nasty twist, considering.

MarketWatch reports that job candidates who are already employed get hourly wage offers that are 48 percent higher than the average of offers made to unemployed candidates. Sixty percent of offers extended to the currently working include benefits, versus just 37 percent for unemployed job seekers. Meanwhile, nearly 38 percent of job-hoppers were able to negotiate for better pay, versus about 27 percent of unemployed candidates.

It gets more frustrating, if you're seeking a job without having one first: While unemployed job-hunters fielded more offers, they also had to turn more down, given the quality of those offers. Nearly a quarter of job offers made to currently employed candidates were unsolicited, likely to due to informal networking. Just over 14 percent of unemployed job-seekers had the same experience.

Even the good news is tempered. The difference between who gets called back for highly skilled positions is basically negligible, though unemployed candidates have a slight advantage (12.6 percent) over the currently employed (10.8 percent).

American workers contend that it's a quitter's job market right now. And while we're seeing the lowest unemployment numbers since the Clinton administration, it's not entirely because there's a job for every skillset. But no matter what your situation, don't panic just yet — you may have more going for you than you thought.