Despite a recession and mass layoffs, jobless executives and managers stayed unemployed for an average of just 2.7 months last year. The 16-year average, as tracked by the Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, is 3.2 months. The fact that so many people were laid off last year may have actually helped some find new jobs faster. "The jobless are following the best possible job-search advice: They are talking to everyone they know about their job loss. This is creating leads which are turning into new jobs faster than at any other time in the past," says John Challenger, the firm's CEO.
The Challenger Job Market Index is based on a quarterly survey of 3,000 discharged managers and executives using Challenger's services.