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In an appearance at the Milwaukee Rotary Club, Republican Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels said, “It probably takes about 2.6 hours to find a job” — not 26 weeks, which is the typical amount of time a person who is unemployed can receive state benefits.

A 2019 survey by Randstad, a recruitment agency, found that the average job search took about five months. This survey measured the job search time from when an individual decided to look at other employment options to when they started a new position.

The amount of time spent job searching varies, but the majority of individuals remain unemployed for several weeks. As of September 2022, the average time length of unemployment was 20 weeks, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found.  While many businesses in Wisconsin have “help wanted” signs, there can be mismatches between available jobs and workers’ skills.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: On unemployment, Tim Michels suggests he would support shortening benefit time period

Study Finds: Survey: Job hunters take 5 months on average to find employment

US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Table A-12. Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment

TopResume: How Long It Will Take to Find a Job in 2022

State of Wisconsin: Unemployment Benefits | How to Apply and Eligibility Frequently Asked Questions

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Erin Gretzinger / Wisconsin WatchReporting Intern

Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.