Better economic conditions and a more optimistic U.S. employer base have more people back to work.
Fifty-nine percent of workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the past year reported they found new positions, up from 55 percent last year.
The number of workers who took jobs in different fields from where they previously worked rose from 48 percent last year to 60 percent in the 2011 survey, reflecting a growing trend where workers are re-educating and/or repackaging skill sets to appeal to a broader set of employers.
More than 900 workers who were laid off in the past year participated in the study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from Feb. 21 to March 10.
Of the workers who found new jobs, 90 percent found full-time positions and 10 percent found part-time work.
"While the job market remains highly competitive, opportunities are opening up across all industries and job levels," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. "Over the last few years, we've seen workers, out of necessity, cast a wider net and discover new career paths they may never have considered pre-recession. New talent is flowing in and out of industries as workers apply their skill sets to new occupations."
Employers rehiring laid-off employees: Employers are in a better financial position today than one year ago and are gradually increasing staff levels to meet growing market demands. Thirty-one percent of laid-off workers reported they were hired back by their previous employer.
Pay prospects getting better: Fewer laid-off workers reported pay cuts with their new positions. While 43 percent took a job with less pay, this is a significant improvement from 54 percent in last year's survey. Twenty-three percent found a job with more pay, up from 18 percent last year.
Men more likely to find jobs: Men reported a higher incidence of finding employment. Sixty-three percent of men who were laid off from full-time jobs in the past year found new positions, compared with 50 percent of women.
Mature workers face greater challenges: Older workers continued to report more challenges in finding a job after a layoff than other age groups. Workers age 55 or older had the lowest incidence of finding a new job, at 36 percent. Workers age 25 to 34 had the highest incidence, at 78 percent.
Moving where the opportunities are: One-third of workers had to expand their job search geographically. Of those who were laid off in the past year and found new jobs, 33 percent relocated to a new city or state. Of those who haven't found new jobs yet, 34 percent said they would consider relocating.
Starting their own business: As job prospects improve, fewer laid-off workers are considering entrepreneurship. Of workers who were laid off in the past 12 months and haven't found new jobs, 22 percent are considering starting their own business, down from 33 percent last year.