Jobfully Blog

The Math Behind the Networking Claim

“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking.”

During a recent discussion about employment, someone challenged the oft heard claim that seventy percent of all jobs are found through networking.  Hoping to discover the basis for these claims, I began to do some investigating.

In the end, I found out that the number is not a straightforward claim reported by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Instead, it is inferred through the data they report on in the JOLTS or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.    The three reported items that, when combined, create this number are:

  • Number of hires
  • Open positions
  • Previously open positions filled by someone the employer already knew

In the JOLTS lingo, a hire is anyone who was hired in the past thirty days and an open position is a position that is actively being recruited (advertised) and could be filled in thirty days.  There are always more hires than open positions, meaning that many positions that get filled are never advertised to the public – 40%, to be precise, based on the past year of JOLTS data.  Once we include the number of jobs that were filled by someone known to the employer, the number soars to 70%.

Thus, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking.  If you want to play it safe and avoid statistics, you can always go with this quote from the Winter 2004-05 Occupational Outlook Quarterly, “Employers fill the majority of job openings through the unadvertised, or hidden, job market.”  The situation hasn’t changed.


  1. Posted July 8, 2010 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I just found this blog entry while researching a blog entry of my own. Thank you, I’ve been looking for the basis of that 70% for some time!

  2. Posted July 12, 2010 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  3. Posted July 13, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    well written blog. Im glad that I could find more info on this. thanks

  4. Posted August 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Nice brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.

  5. Posted August 27, 2010 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog. Keep writing.

  6. Posted August 31, 2010 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog.Thanks Again. Want more.

  7. Posted March 10, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    While I believe that 70% of jobs are found through networking, I still do not believe that only 30% of all jobs are posted. I believe that 70% – 80% of jobs get posted publically, which, yes, adds up to over 140%. Jobs get posted, but job seekers need to network to get them.

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