Are 35% of US LinkedIn Members Unemployed? Globally, 320 MLN?

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It has occurred to me that the operators not only allow to expand the searching power in “positive ways” but also make it possible to search for the absence of some values. To search for a field not to have any value, we need to know all possible values – and this is true for the “seniority” filter. The seniority codes range from 1 to 10.

We know that people without current jobs do not have a seniority value assigned. Therefore, by excluding all the 10 levels, we should find all unemployed. (People without a job are like “dead souls“). Here is the search for all of them.

All unemployed LinkedIn Members – (, or

NOT(seniority:1 OR(seniority:2) OR(seniority:3) OR(seniority:4) OR(seniority:5) OR(seniority:6) OR(seniority:7) OR(seniority:8) OR(seniority:9) OR(seniority:10))

Right now, the total is 320 MLN. For the US, it is 60K+ unemployed vs. a total of 170 MLN. This means that 35% of American LinkedIn members do not list a current job. Globally, LinkedIn has 44% unemployed members.

Really? The numbers seem way too high, especially as the economy recovers. Surely, there are abandoned profiles but they usually have a “current” position. There must be employed members who are “false positives”. Adding extra filters (example) was showing nice, matching results.

Digging deeper, I have realized that LinkedIn also does not assign seniority to people whose titles it fails to interpret. This is what is responsible for the large numbers! What it means is that 1) there is a lot of “junk” data and 2) LinkedIn can do better at recognizing the non-standard job titles of its members as well. (It is a good reminder to not fully depend on LinkedIn’s selection search for any facet.) The search does find all unemployed but may pull some “false positives” as well, depending on your other keywords.

Please make a note of it. Recruiters, search for the unemployed while the operators allow! Let’s help them find jobs.

An in-depth webinar about mastering the operators and ways to source like a genius on LinkedIn is on its way (will appear on this page). If you have a Recruiter subscription, join this session (which will be just as informative).

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